Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain
Source: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

I've been a career and personal coach to over 5,000 clients. And the longer I do it, the less sure I am that there are clear-enough answers. Of course, it could simply be that I'm an inadequate counselor.

In any event, here are three poems I've written that acknowledge that lack of clarity.

                THE ANSWERS
Should I get high? Should I have sex? Try for A’s or live with C’s?
Go to college? How far from home? Buy a label or do JC?
Far away from parents’ eyes, party down or study up?
Follow my bliss? Choose art, not biz? Be real cool or be straight up?

God, give me the answers. Or does God live in me?
They say the answers do lie within but where, where can they be? Where, where can they be?

So I’m a grad, I’d like to play but not fall behind the rest.
Take a job or do more school, opt for balance or be the best?
Keep the squeeze or search for more? Go get hitched or cut the chain?
Go have kids or keep the wings? Leave the spouse or stay in lane?

God, give me the answers. Or does God live in me?
They say the answers do lie within but where, where can they be? Where, where can they be?

Should I retire? Should I look back? Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?


“I’m in.” First choice!

(Secret: Most get their first choice.)

Will I love college? Will I like my roommate?

I can’t wait!

What courses do I take? Damn, it’s closed already?

First lecture: “I’m confused already?!

My roommates are cool. All three. It’s tight but fun.

“Where’s my fave shirt?” “Hey, I didn’t give you permission!”

Par-tay: “Want a hit?” “Hey, you’re a stud.” I so want to believe that.

Major in undeclared? No. I want to graduate in four. Psychology: fun and practical. Is it? Oh, it probably is.

Neo-Freudian Horney, behaviorist Skinner, Arthur Jensen?! Racist! Elitist! But there’s KimberLÈ!  Intersectionalism rocks! Resist Privilege! Shut their straight white male asses DOWN! (Am I so sure? Is there another view?)

So it took five years. I'm getting my piece of paper. Yeah—career door opener.

Apply, no response, Apply, rejection. Apply, no response…except from Starbucks.

I better apply to grad school.

What’s this in the mail? Federal Student Loan Collection Department? Balance $104,983?

“Dear Employer, I’m excited to see your job #4378b on Indeed.com.”

                                                    WHAT TO BE?
Grown-ups are always asking kids,
“Whatcha wanna be when you grow up?
“Whatcha wanna be when you grow up?
“I don’t know.” “I don’t know.”

I tried playing weddings: "When I fall in love, it will be forever."
Not for half. Not for half.
Should I be a doctor? No, science is hard. No, science is hard.
Be a lawyer, no, many lawyers are hard, many are hard.
Took the career tests—forest ranger, hah! Funeral director, double-hah!
What do I want to be when I grow up? I don’t know. I don’t know.

Could I be a prof? "Sorry, Dr. N." "Sorry, Dr. N."
Became—ironic—a career coach. I’m not that fine. Not that fine.
Change careers? Too many lost bucks, too much lost time.
Do I retire and write more songs? More words of rhyme?
What do I want to be when I grow up? I don’t know. I still don’t know.

But I had it easy. Lots of good choices then. Lots of good choices then.
Now more jobs are part-time temp, cut not if but when.
Crap pay, no benes, hard to stay zen, hard to stay zen.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you know? Do you know?

HERE are three more of my work-related poems.

HERE is a video of me reading these three poems and the three from my subsequent post.

You can reach Marty at mnemko@comcast.net.

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