I’m scared. Not just for the usual things like cancer, sharks, or my favorite television show getting cancelled, but for the unforeseeable future that I simultaneously do and don’t have control over.
This fear has been gradually manifesting itself as the Oxford chapter of my life came to a close. After what I consider the greatest adventure of my life ended, the question “So where will you go next?” was definitely one of the most FAQs since I’ve been home.
One of the hardest parts of having had to reintegrate myself into my old life is a) just that – I’ve changed, and there’s no way I can comfortably settle back completely into the life of the “old” me (for lack of a less cliché-sounding phrase), and b) NOT having a satisfactory response to that “What happens next?” inquiry. With Oxford, I knew I’d be England-bound for almost a full year in advance. NOT having any concrete, future international – or actually, ANY – plans now has been a heavy weight on my mind during the time that I haven’t been blogging.
I recently watched my sister pick up her diploma for graduation last month, which had me thinking – a lot. With one more year of school left to tackle, I’m becoming more and more aware of how imperative it is for me to figure out my next steps. Not knowing what comes next is not a new fear, but another fear I have related with that is my fear of not doing what it is that I’m meant to do. Throwing in my cards, putting myself into the rat race and living life on someone else’s terms. In fewer words, having to forgo the dreams I’ve dreamt (“I dreamed a dream in time gone by…”) and finding myself Googling “how not to hate my job” in a few years.
I wish this post could be a more cathartic “But I shall emerge victorious!” message, but it would be a lie to say that I’m feeling confident in that at the moment. For whatever reason, some people I’ve met seem to think I have it together. Obviously these folks haven’t bothered to get to know me much better than that because this couldn’t be farther from the truth. My car is currently defunct, I’m kind of an awkward person, I haven’t dated since – well – a span of time you’d likely deem laughable (probably due to my awkwardness), I’ve made myself look like an idiot at my new job more than once this week, and to top it all off, I have no idea what to do with my life after college.
^^So for any readers who have at any point [mistakenly] thought that I have it all handled (hah), I hope this clears up everything and relieves you too if you’re in a similar boat. If so, I’ve done my job for this week.
All I can say for now, in the midst of all my Google searches, ESL applications and rummaging through East European and Asian guidebooks – come what may. Because really, I have no choice other than to brave whatever curveball comes my way. I might strike out, wind up with a broken nose or get substituted with another player, but whatever. I have to deal with it (as do you), because as they say, there’s no crying in baseball.