I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd

I really like the last scene in “Pulp Fiction,” when Sam Jackson explains to Tim Roth why he’s not going to kill him. that clip that you just skipped clicking on, it doesn’t include the scene where Jules explains his “moment of clarity” to Vincent about his profession and how he wants to live his life, but it leads into these ten minutes of Mexican standoff and pontificating and ends with a great line, and one to which I can’t exactly relate but I sometimes feel I’m trying real hard to.
is that a pun? or a just a grammatically incorrect sentence?

anyway, I had a job interview yesterday morning, and it actually went pretty well. I think. gotta keep it in perspective; I’ve been involved with some pretty shitty job interviews, and this one broke with precedent and they asked me to take a couple of editing tests after they spoke with me, so as long as I don’t fuck those up, who knows? maybe I’ll get another interview.
the job is at a nonprofit in Washington. it wouldn’t be awful. in fact, I think I’d find it interesting.
but is this what I really want to do?
… no?
note the elipses and question mark. maybe I should bold that for emphasis. the truth is, I don’t really know what I want to do with my career.
yes, yeah, you’re right. that seems kind of important because the sun is past its high point on my twenties, but when people put that question to me, either in conversation or even a few times now from potential employers: Where do you see yourself in ten years? I never have a concrete answer. my answer is always some version of ‘ten years is a long time, and I have no idea what I’ll be feeling then.’ because that shit is true! I have no idea what I’ll be like when I’m 36. I can’t even fucking fathom 36 right now.
so that leaves me with: what do I know? what do I want for my life going forward? well, I’d like to get a job I could retire from some day, and I’d like to have a family; a wife, kids and a yard, a dog and yes, maybe even a cat, but I don’t know how I’m going to get it. I haven’t figured out what is going to be the engine to generate all of this that I imagine having some day, and if these are things that I’m at all serious about pursuing then I need to start making some moves, quick.
but that still leaves me with the same question. if those are the ends, what will be my means? I suppose I have thought those would reveal themselves to me in time, that I would see the face of God in a piece of toast, or come around a corner some day and find My Calling sitting on the hood of my truck and staring back at me, or the phone would ring and I would pick it up and someone would say “your time has come,” and I would spring to action. in that moment-of-clarity kind of way that Jules had after that dude jumped out from behind a door and unloaded a gun at him and he was miraculously unscathed, but I haven’t had any near-death experiences. I’m just getting laid off from my job, it’s spring time again, and I would like to get this new one landed, so I’ll have something to do and can continue ponder the direction of my existence with a roof over my head.
but. you know, for someone with such little idea of what he’s doing with himself, I’m pretty excited about what will happen next. it’s just … while I will complain and worry self-doubt and sweat this out, it’s all overridden by the physical feeling that spring is here, Aarti is next to me, and maybe this job, this something to do, maybe I’ll get it and it’ll be kickass. maybe it’ll be a springboard into grad school. maybe this is it, a career in nonprofits. or maybe it isn’t and maybe I’ll move to Guadalajara and raise plants. and maybe the phone will ring tomorrow and I’ll begin figuring everything out.

when I was younger, I had a very clear image of what my dream home was: a large turn-of-the-century farm-house with high windows on the first floor. it had an old coat of white paint on its outsides, radiator heating on its insides, and it sat in the middle of a vast grassland plain under cold blue skies with tall clouds in them. from the windows you could see for miles in any direction and could see comers well before they arrived. in this image it was quiet and cold outside, but in the house it was loud and warm, and I had a couple of large, friendly dogs and a big television that was be tuned to news with the volume turned up, and I’d get three or four major newspapers delivered to my house daily, and I’d read all of them.