Neil Tambe

Let’s go.

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

Having it all

I had a provocative conversation with a family-friend today. She's a medical resident in Flint right now and was telling me about what being a new resident is like and the sorts of challenges she's been facing. They are hard. Really hard.

Over the course of our conversation, she got to something I have been thinking about a lot lately: can we have it all. Can we live a life with a fulfiling career and a strong commitment to family. Can we do good in the world and still make enough money to live a secure, comfortably, plentiful and fun life? Can we make a difference in the world without compromising our integrity?

I've realized over the past year that this isn't an easy task, at all. The complexities of human interaction, especially when security of self and well-being is not guaranteed, are enough to topple empires if not handled well. Other people aside, too, it takes so much energy on the individuals' behalf. The prospects of being able to conquer the dualities I mentioned are slim. Having it all is ambitious, if not foolish. It might even be an indicator of insanity.

But as we chatted, I started to reject this. If we do, that is, if we have agency, there is no doubt that we can have it all. We can have what really matters. But it takes an incessant willingness to work, I think, and work smartly. It takes tenacity, a warm touch and self-awareness. Sometimes I don't know if I'll be able to manage it. But then I think, one must just think that they can. That they can claw their way to the great light. You've gotta. No matter how bad things seem.

If you want it all, there's no out that's required...there's not "option". It's a "you're in or you're out kind of deal.

Time to saddle up.

-PS, not sure how coherent this is...hopefully so.

Please do say hello: neil.tambe[at]gmail[dot]com