Sunday, November 6, 2011

What's next?

We obviously have spoken many a times about our life as college students. But now as that time is coming to a close, I have been regularly thinking about what my next journey will be. If you had asked me this question at 17 I would have said my next label would be wife and career woman. At 18 I would have said nurse. Since around 20, my answer has been, who the hell knows. When the realization hit me that the golden age of 22 didn't mean beautiful husband, successful career, and picket fence, I was (to put it lightly) distraught. I have always been a planner and assumed that things would just work out in this perfect way or I would make it happen. I finally got over the shock that my life wouldn't turn out how I envisioned it to, and eventually got to a point of accepting this reality.

So since then I have majored in psychology and minored in sociology. I have interned in a research development department at a major corporation in town. I have become a teaching assistant for a religion class. I have quit my first job (one that I had for 5 years and hated). And I have been single for the first time since I was 14. When I write it all down it seems like alot, but it all led me to where I am now, at a cross roads.

This being such a stressful time in life as a huge turning point and a leap into adulthood, I am still shocked that I haven't been warned about it. Oprah did say yesterday on lifeclass that change becomes an ugly scary monster that we avoid at all costs because of the nightmares we conjure in our heads. So maybe that's all this is. I am feeling two very conflicting emotions, fear and utter excitement.

It's sort of freeing actually. Being in college and financially dependant on your parents feels like you constantly have chains on. Letting you go only so far until you're at the end of your rope. But once I have completed my education, I am free to make my own decisions. Of course others will try to influence these decisions, only because I know they love me and don't want to see me suffer or fail, but ultimately the decision must be made by me. And I think parents need to remember sometimes that people learn from failing and that life is one constant jumble of decision making. So while I am scared shitless, I am also so excited to do everything just for me.

So everything boils down to, what will make me happy. When I picture my happiness what does it look like? I oddly enough always picture the same thing (I haven't even told you this lyd). I picture me hunched over working in an abundant veggie and flower garden, with practical clothing, no shoes, a small old house, solar power on the roof, greenery all around me, up on a ridge that overlooks the ocean, fresh air, and lots of land.

Over time I have tried to pick apart the meaning behind this image, here is what I have come up with. I'm in a place surrounded by flourishing nature. I am supporting myself through my own garden with the growth of my own veggies. I am surrounded by a wildflower garden with no sense of order or planning. I think deep down I hate how regimented I can be and picture my future happy self as letting go of that need for perfection and order. The fact that I see myself with practical clothing means that I no longer care so much about my outward appearance, and therefore have let go of my body image issues and have accepted myself. I love to be barefoot so that's the reason behind that one. The solar panels represents being environmentally friendly, which is one of my main goals. The self sustaining nature of the garden is also very important, meaning I take seriously what enters my body and no longer feel like food rules me and I no longer support food that has been obtained in unnatural and unhealthy (for the environment) ways. And last but certainly not least, I can see the ocean from my home, which has been a dream of mine since I was little. I truly believe that those who grow up on the coast feel a connection with it that can't be described or taught.

In order to survive comfortably I obviously need to work. But the question remains, doing what?? That's been the question lingering in my head for a long time. I think I would love to work from home and have enough left over time to volunteer. So if I would love to work from home, what profession could I do from my window by the sea? Writing.

The first time I can remember writing was in I think 4th grade. I wrote a little book and loved the process. Needless to say my book was way longer than it was supposed to be. Then when I got older and started to experience love and loss, I turned to writing. Ever since then, when I am extremely distraught I write. Whether it be just jotting down things that don't make sense or full descriptions of how I am feeling. Oddly enough, it always makes me feel better. Like I somehow release or purge some of the pent up emotion that I am feeling.

I also love to read. J.K. Rowling taught me that by reading, you can transport yourself to a different reality. Reading has helped me in many ways. It has worked not only as entertainment, but also as an escape and even sometimes hope.

A goal that I have always set for myself is to help others. Whatever that help may be. I have found myself lately consciously or subconsciously basing my decisions off of this goal. Writing to me seems to be a way you can reach others and could potentially benefit them while also supporting yourself.

Writing seems to fit nicely into all of these wants and needs. Working from home and for myself. Doing something I love and feel passionate about. And in also helping others.

Now keep in mind that in 3 months this idea could seem crazy, but that's OK. I don't have to have all the answers now. And if I think this idea is even crazy tomorrow that's OK, because at least I'm trying to figure it out. At least I'm trying to figure out now what makes me happy and not at 65 when I've retired and already lived most of my life. I have the luxury now to choose my path, so choose it I will.


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