At this point in our lives, I feel we are all at a crossroads. We’re at that age where we are still considered by some as too young to make any life-altering decisions, yet still old enough to know better.
The crossroad lays in the path of expectations set by others in society, and the path we’ve imagined for ourselves.
Do you do what is expected of you, in that order? Or do you risk taking the untraditional route to pave your own path? What if the cement you choose doesn’t set well? The only possibility to know the end results of each set path is in prediction. I think knowing indefinitely would take all of the fun out of the journey.
We’re at that age where we should be working to help pay for school, to make a living, and ultimately, stop begging our parents for money. Whether we choose to live at school, on our own, or with our parents is still up to us.
We’re at that age where if our hearts are filled with wanderlust, it’s still ok to grab a backpack and a passport, and get lost. It’s not crazy to want to spend two weeks wandering around Rome, as it would be if you had a family. It’s ok to stay in your pajamas one day until two in the afternoon, and pretend like the real world isn’t waiting outside your bedroom door.
Before college, I struggled a lot. I knew what I wanted to do, but it seemed like everyone else I knew had a different vision for me. They wanted me to make a lot of money and they wanted me to live in a big house. I thought that was great in theory, but there’s a few flaws. First, I don’t care how much money I’m making, if I don’t get up and love what I’m doing. If I’m not passionate about it, it’s not worth it. Why would I work crazy hours to make money I would never have the time to enjoy?
I felt guilty that I didn’t fit the mold my parents had envisioned for me. No bends, twists, turns, or practice would have me fit that mold. I am not a science or math person, and I don’t understand equations or statistics. For me, I create the world in a way I understand. Whether I like it or not, words pour out of me. I describe situations to make them feel relatable for people. Words are my photographs. Words are my equations. Words help me form this crazy world into a formula I can understand. I am a writer by nature. If I am lucky enough to get to paint with prose for the rest of my life, I will be rich with passion and love for every endeavor I embark upon. I love what I do, and that is enough an explanation for me.
Now in the middle of college, the next question we get bombarded with is, “what’s next?” It’s terrifying. Society seems to want the name of the company that will hire you out of college, the social security number of your future husband, the receipts for all of the debt you need to start making payments on, and where you are going to live.
Currently I have three addresses: my mom’s house, my dad’s house, and my dorm at school. I have no idea where I am going to be living next year. Do I want to stay with one of my parents? Aren’t I a little old? I want to plant my own roots, to have a city in any state that I can call my home. I don’t know where that will be, and I’m working to accept the fact that I will have to figure it out when the time comes.
I’m not going to pretend like I’m an expert on something I’m not. Since we’re being honest, I’m terrified of the future. We grew up with the belief that “perfection” is the ultimate goal. Therefore, I’m scared of lack. I want a successful career, I want a love that lasts until the day I die, and I want a house with a big yard where I can plant my roots with my family, and run barefoot through the grass. Being organized helps me in every aspect of my life, but you cannot create a vision board for every course of your life.
Something that has always inspired me to take chances is my mother. She got a job out of high school, but when she was 40, she decided she wanted to do something more fulfilling. She went to college to study for a job she had always dreamed of doing. With determination and a lot of hours spent studying, she got her degree, and the job she wanted. My mother is the perfect example of even if you get what you love wrong the first time, you can always reverse and change directions.
I’m scared my plan will not go so according to plan. But, i’d rather be known as the girl who fell, than the girl who never jumped.
Be scared. Take chances. Change directions. Take the wrong job. Create your path, and take your time paving it. Have fear, but jump anyway.