It’s been a while since I last wrote, and I’m sorry about that. These past few months have been full of nothing but transitions that I’ve been trying to process. I went from graduating college to moving across the country to start an internship that would hopefully lead to a job offer (which it did) to now living in France to work as an English teaching assistant for a year. It has been a busy few months! Leading up to graduation, all I could feel was fear and sadness. My future was so uncertain and that terrified me. College had been the best four years of my life, and I wasn’t ready to leave the community that I’d built for myself. My friends who’d become my second family, my favorite local spots and the freedom to pursue my passions as my sole responsibility, it was a dream that I never wanted to wake up from. I had friends who had such optimistic outlooks for themselves expecting their lives to continue to be smooth sailing, and maybe for them it could be, but I knew I wouldn’t have that luxury.
Attending Boston University was my first big selfish decision, and during my time there I learned to live for myself and go after what I want without fear. A lesson I don’t regret learning, but I’ve noticed the change in me that has ensued and the struggle my parents endured to give me this luxury. This is how I knew my life after college would be completely different. My parents expected me to excel, to see all of their sacrifices and struggles paid back with my success. The only problem is, I have no idea what I’m doing or what I want. This is something that’s apparently fairly common for recent graduates and people in their 20s, but I feel selfish and disappointing for the delay.
I could’ve had my start; I received a job offer from my summer internship in San Francisco, but I turned it down. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great opportunity with a quickly growing company that offered mentorship and success. The only problem was, I wasn’t passionate about the work. So here comes my big question for life, is that what a job should be, something that’s interesting enough and offers security, but isn’t necessarily the most exciting part of your life? I’m torn, because I know my parents have always hated their jobs. They didn’t have the luxury of going after their dreams or even going to college. They became parents too young and immigrated to the U.S.A from a developing country without speaking English…Their dream was simply to provide food and a roof over our head so that my brother and I could work toward a better life than they had. So is this that ‘better life’? Being a well-educated woman working a job that will lead to a successful career, even if it’s not something I love? Post-graduation, I’m afraid to still explore what I would love to do, because every day I continue pursuing my potential passions is another day my parents have to struggle to give me flexibility.
Of course, my parents would say I’m an idiot, that this is what they worked for and they just want me to be happy. They’re pretty much the best parents in the world, but I feel even more selfish for taking advantage of their generosity. There’s a limit. I believe that after four years of my parents struggling to pay for my university tuition, I’ve reached my limit. I promised myself that taking the English Teaching Assistant job in France would be my last major selfish decision since it allows me to be mostly self-sufficient. But what’s next? I’ve given myself an extra year of excitement, spontaneity and new experiences, but I have no idea what to do after May. I want to get a Masters, I want to continue travelling, I want to continue being exposed to different types of people and having new and stimulating experiences. I want so many things, but accepting a stable job and settling down somewhere makes all of these things seem impossible. Before university, I never thought I would have the luxury of pursuing these desires at all. However, now that I’ve had a taste of it, the rush of exploring into unknown territory, not knowing what’s going to happen or what I will find, I’m not ready to stop. I’ve come to fear routine and stability, the two things that have controlled most of my life, the two things my parents strived for years to attain. For them, routine and stability was the goal. I want more.
So for now I’m drifting. Enjoying my time in France, meeting new people, trying new things and travelling to new and exciting places, everything I want to be doing at this moment in my life. I’ll probably take the exciting job in SF afterwards, or maybe I’ll be able to get my Masters here in France and move here permanently, I don’t know and that’s ok. The fact that my future remains unknown makes it thrilling and terrifying all at once though.