Figuring It Out

     As if deciding what you want to do with your life is not hard enough, the execution is even harder. Select individuals find their “calling” earlier than others, some later, some never. Lately, I’ve been grappling with this question. What to do and where to do it? As I inquire about various graduate programs and career potential, I grapple with variables such as location, cost, sustainability {will it make and last for a lifetime?} and the most fleeting variable of them all, the happiness factor {will it bring myself and others happiness? Of course, you don’t have to look to please others, but if you are like me you could not imagine a career that did not benefit other people in some way.} One of the most common struggles among creative minds, and humans in general, is the translation of a mental concept to a physical reality. You know – you have an idea of something, how you want it to turn out but, rarely, does it ever turn out as glorious as you imagined it to be or you can’t quite find the words or the properties to make it look, act or feel the way you thought it would {those of us who do have a talent for that translation are most commonly found in textbooks, and among Nobel prize recipients.}

     Paving the path to your future is as such, you start with a more or less complete picture of what you think will make you happy. {Happy is dependent on what you value most, so inherently that is different for everyone.} You make choices, you succeed and fail, but where does it get you? Is one really able to know what will make them happy at 37, 45, and 56 all by the ages of 22-26. In high school you are prepared for college; in college you choose a degree and become a very broad sort of specialist in your chosen field, and {choose your own adventure:} you either

a) find a job and mold your future one resume bullet at a time, make your own way and hope the economy doesn’t tank,

b)peruse a graduate degree which begins developing the specialized qualities and knowledge for the niche you have chosen in your given field, and cross your fingers that everything goes as planned and you don’t drown in student loans before you get the chance to swim with the big kids,

c) both a and b,

d) you have a trust fund.

I realize my outlook sways toward the negative already, but realistically I’m not sure the typical or even fully developed 22 year old on the brink of shaking a hand with their left and receiving their degree with their right is capable of making. As human beings we evolve over time as populations and individuals — is there a decision, a singular path that will sustain this instance of nature?

     As a writer, and a student on the edge of the nest, I look for resolution to this quest. I believe in my best. I believe in my work and I believe in my vision. At this point, I don’t believe there is a singular job or degree that will act as my fairy god-mother and materialize my every hope and dream. But, I do believe in perseverance and dedication to a dream, it is craved by many, demanded by some, and applied by a few. {But imagine what kind of place the world would be if it were applied by many?} With enduring determination, and the childlike bravery to start over, to learn and to play with this one life – the path becomes clearer and it takes the form of many routes {I don’t believe in single paths.} The truth that I am beginning to see all the more clearly each day is that, your truth is not black and white, and it will never look the same as anyone else’s so there is no reason to rush, or compare {ever.} Above all else, trust yourself and don’t be afraid of making a few U-turns in life, or taking the long way to your future – the time will pass anyway.

One thought on “Figuring It Out

  1. Well-said. Even after having just recently being accepted into my program of choice.. It’s difficult to know if this is the chosen career path I truly want — Also, can I afford the debt? Life is made difficult for students. There should be more financial and social resources for young adults trying to make such huge decisions. Regardless, lovely article!

    Liked by 1 person

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