I can’t be the only one seemingly blowing into a paper bag hyperventilating when I actually take the time to think about what I’m going to do after I get my diploma. No, not what I’m going to do, what I want to do. I have grown used to stressing about completing assignment after assignment, studying test after test, but on top of that now I have to think about where I’m going to be in seven months? The only thing I know for sure that will take place in seven months is adopting Remus, and buddy, I hope you have more answers than I do about where I’ll see myself when you’re with me. I just finished talking with a friend about where we see ourselves in the next few years, and I had so many differentiating responses that led to a complete mental breakdown. This is going to be a really long, personal post, I’m not going to hold back to let you guys know how conflicted and frustrated I am trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to do after I graduate.
I’m not alone in feeling as if half my life has already passed even though I’m only 21, right? As if deciding where I’m going to be after I graduate will completely determine the course of my life, which is true to an extent, but that kind of pressure just makes my brain go numb. I want to do so many things, and I feel as if though my time is running out, when in all actuality…it isn’t. I am only 21, and I have to consistently remind myself that I will never be too old to travel, never too old to learn, never too old to finish writing my book, and never to old to try and make a difference in the world. I legitimately have to take a second to digest and process these realizations to calm me down.
I’m studying Public Relations, and minoring in Leadership of Communities and NonProfit Organizations. So yeah, I want to be a Public Relations Manager of a NonProfit organization. I just recently made a blog post about what this means, so I would love to direct you to that now if you don’t have any idea what my job is. I don’t blame you, we’re like the fairy godmothers and backbone of pretty much anything you can think of, without taking all the applause and credibility. Anyway, I know this much about what I want to do for most of my life, working in PR with an organization with a cause is something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life, because I’ll never stop learning and becoming better at what I do. My organization will have a vision, and I’m going to work hard to help that vision come true. I know I want to work with a nonprofit dedicated to addresses issues of poverty, primarily for children, youth development and their well-being. Then comes to head-banging question, which one? Where? Ultimately, I’d love to one day see myself working for a really large organization, like Save the Children, and help make international impacts…but until then, where should I start?
There’s tons of opportunities in Austin to get my experience started, helping address the children in the community locally. I’d love to live my younger 20’s in Austin, with Remus, and soon enough my best friend Laura when she graduates a semester after me. Which would mean I’d live with my parents for about 5-6 months in the suburbs and commuting to Austin until she graduates. Saving until then would be very beneficial to afford the Austin rent now-a-days, and raising Remus in the suburbs would be so nice. It would be my last time living at home, spending time with my parents as much as I can before my career really kicks off and I start living farther, and farther away. The cons? My brother and sister would both be in college, so saying I’d be lonely in my house is a huge understatement. Thank goodness I’d have Remus to raise and train. What will I do with so much alone time when I’m not working and at home, when even my parents aren’t there to accompany me because they go to bed even before the sun sets? I could write, I’d make it an objective to get at least 1/3 of my book written by Christmas and read and reviewed by close friends. Then, when my best friend graduates, we’d find whatever affordable place we could and move to Austin, and get those first few years of experience I would need to work at the larger nonprofits I could only dream of working at.
But, half of me wants to live some part of my life outside of Texas too. Ideally, Colorado. They have some of the highest rates of poverty in the nation. My best friend in college is going to go somewhere out of the state to get his masters, what if I go with him for a year or two? I’d love to live and experience a different kind of city, a different kind of culture in the United States. Get some of my beginner career experience that way, then move back to Austin when my childhood best friend graduates. But…when will I not just get to see, but experience the world?
I want to participate in Americorp or the Peace Corp at some point, or something similar that will let me be of service internationally. Should I do that after I get started with my career? Or, should I do that immediately after I graduate? Should I do that when I’m a little older and can handle some of the intensity that comes with these responsibilities? Am I independent enough to go out there alone!? There’s so many countries that need help, especially in youth development. I could teach English in a foreign country, like in the Middle East, Spain, or Japan, my three favorite places in the world. While there, not only could I start making an impact and helping, I could also have the opportunity to see and travel to places I’ve always wanted to go to. Like Cyprus, Qatar, Dubai, Okinawa, Barcelona, the list is endless. But when does this chapter of my life take place? When should it take place? When do I want it to take place!?
I don’t know, I really don’t. If I find a career opportunity in Austin, I could start traveling the United States first at least. There’s so many places I want to go to. I’d make it a goal to start and finish the Appalachian Trails, it’s going to take me a few years, and when I’m done…maybe I can take that as a metaphor to signify it’s time to make another drastic life changing move. Maybe then apply for the Peace Corp, I don’t know. Do you know? Do any of us know!? What’s the safest route to take to that could lead me to accomplish all of these things. And let’s not forget, I have to write my book, I have to get that published, it has to be the next thing that makes children not feel alone in the middle of the night. Where will I find the most inspiration for that? I can’t successfully write that without all of these experiences.
Here’s what I do know, despite all of this jumbled mess of thoughts and ideas, there’s only one person I can trust to lead me in the right direction. And that’s You, God. You keep me calm whenever I start to become stressed about not feeling like I have enough time, you help me keep calm when I don’t know what route to take, because at the end of the day you’ll have me take the route I’m meant to be on. Whichever path that is, will be the right one that I need in order to be the person I was meant to become. These worries themselves are blessings, I am blessed to have the stress of deciding where I want to do what I want to do, because I was fortunate to become the first person to go to college in my family. I am blessed to only have this barring on my shoulders instead of trying to figure out when I’ll eat next like so many children do in the world. I am blessed to have You to keep me calm, and strong, and at the end of a mental breakdown not feel worried at all. I trust You, and I trust that the best opportunity will come forth depending on the places I apply, after evaluating all the pros and cons, You will show me the way. You’ve shown me so much these past four years about myself, things I know I wouldn’t have been able to discover without You. I know the me of four years ago would not feel calm, my anxiety would have reached an all time high right now during my senior year, so thank You for giving me the ultimate blessing of faith and trust.
Well, I know my thoughts were all over the place here. More than anything I wish time could freeze for a second. That way, money isn’t a contributing factor and time doesn’t affect decision making, the world is just at a standstill. I could read every book I wouldn’t have time to while working and maintaining a social life, watch every critically acclaimed film and review them myself, travel to every place I’ve always wanted to go to while not worrying about the expenses, have more time to solve the issue of poverty and help as many kids as I possibly can, finish writing my book and have it published in tons of language for them to read around the world, but…would these experiences be as precious if time was at a standstill? Life has meaning because it isn’t permanent, because our time is limited we really do try to do our very best to make something out of it. I’ll have to do my best, with my own knowledge, encouragement from friends and family, and faith in God. I don’t doubt I’ll end up where I’m meant to, doing the most that I can how I’m supposed to. I hope you figure it out to, I think we’re all in the same boat, struggling against some very profound and challenging waves right now, but nothing we can’t overcome.