9 to 5

Good evening all, and if you happen to be American, happy belated 4th of July weekend!

I’m not American and I don’t live in America so I am sure that I don’t fully appreciate this holiday, though I know it means a lot to a lot of people, so if you did celebrate, I hope it was a great weekend! Whilst I could not profit from the sentimental value of the weekend, I was able to enjoy a long weekend with Friday off, so I was grateful for that!

But, like all things, holidays must come to an end and I was back in the working world today. I’m currently working as a summer intern in the legal department of an insurance company, which is incredibly ironic if you’ve known me for the past seven years. So, let us get better acquainted so that you can understand why.

I come from a family dominated by law. By that I mean that there are an obscene amount of lawyers in my family, so much so that family gatherings turn into jury meetings about who is currently being sentenced, and what the verdict will be. With my degree of English Literature and French, you can imagine the minute amount of opinion I would have to contribute to such a conversation. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat at the dinner table with my family, feeling completely unheard with every word that I attempt to make relevant, itching to yell, “Can we talk about something else for once!” Of course I’m not asking them to launch into 16th Century literature or speak in French for the rest of the evening, but I crave a variety when it comes to conversation, and it kills me that there never is.

And when the judge decrees the sentence, the conversation then turns to the economic situation of our country and how it will affect the family in the future. Once again, I have the same opinion as above, in that I don’t have an opinion as these kind of things simply do not interest me. Perhaps that’s me being immature and short-sighted in not being culturally aware, but it is simply not my kind of cultural awareness. If you asked me to name five Members of Parliament in my country right now, I could tell you one, maybe two on a good day. But if you asked me to name five award winning film score composers, I could give you at least fifteen. If you asked me about the political situation in France in the 1990s, I could talk for days about it. If you asked me about the significance of power in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’, I could give you an A Level’s essay worth. My point is this; knowledge and intelligence lie in what you want it to.

Sure, I could finish my degree and do a conversion course to Law, or I could do a Masters in Economics, but is that really what I want to do? Is that truly what interests me? Do I really want to spend the rest of my life trapped inside a court room or chained to a desk? Absolutely not. However, dear friends, I realised something today, and it is both terrifying and relieving.

As I said, I work in the legal department of an insurance company, and given the above, you’ll be shocked to know that this is my third summer returning to the company and that very same position. I know right? Who I am to talk down exactly what it is I am spending my summer doing? Well, today I learned that maybe law and insurance aren’t quite what I thought them to be, and that maybe the opposite of knowledge isn’t stupidity, but ignorance.

Prior to going into this job, I hadn’t a clue what either would entail (besides the knowledge I’d been forced to absorb through family occasions). But having the experience that I now do, I realise that there are so many more roots that support the company tree than the sheer mathematics behind it and the legal actions that protect it. There are opportunities that fall under these two categories, yes, but there are also other jobs that entail communications and international relations and have nothing to do with being mathematically adept at all. Now I see that there are so many doors open to me in this company, and so many different directions that I could start walking in, and for that I am truly lucky. But for right now, I’m happy where I am. I’m happy in the knowledge that I would much rather walk through the door that led to a book and a cup of tea, but I’m also now happy to say that I’m not going to shut the door that leads to a career in insurance. Maybe I won’t take it, maybe I will, but for now, that door will remain open as a possibility.

I guess the point of this post was just for me to find my head a bit more after this epiphany, so thank you for humouring me. Having said that, I encourage you to look again at things that you tend to overlook, or rather, look at them with a different pair of glasses, and see what you feel. I was so determined to not get involved with insurance or law because of how it fuelled my resentment towards some family members, but now I see that it could be my future sitting in front of me. Sometimes things that were rusted just need a bit of polish to glimmer and catch your attention, so go on, go through your life and go through your thoughts, have a little clean.

Keep dreaming, dear friends,
Scarlett x


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