Futures

I’ve been away for a while…

Life lately has been a string of interviews, papers, bank reconciliations, and stress. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the looming idea of ‘graduation’ and my future. Swimming through pages upon pages of application questions and interview preparations felt almost as if it were setting me back, not moving me forward. I was highlighting what I lacked, what I couldn’t bring to the table, and all the ways I would undoubtedly be a worse choice than the other candidates. I spent weeks pinning my hopes on an internship in New York City, and then I left the interview wanting to cry.

I also started working a new job as a finance intern, learning skills I wouldn’t learn in a classroom. I have a desk and a computer with two screens and an ergonomically designed chair with lower back support. It’s real. I feel like I’m getting so close to leaving my safe haven of college and trying to look for a full-time job that I’m forgetting to enjoy the time I have left.

I was writing a piece for my advanced fiction class, and connected deeply with a character I was constructing. She was tumultuous, young, and felt stuck in her town. My favorite section of the story:

“She wished for winter in summer, and for summer in winter. She waited all year for school to end, and all summer for it to begin again. She was in a perpetual state of waiting with no end in sight.”

I actually really enjoyed how the piece turned out in its entirety, and maybe I’ll post it here when my class is over, but that character element floored me. This character embodied what I felt staring down the barrel of my remaining year of college. The perpetual state of waiting and wishing for something more and constantly being nervous about the ending. It’s not a character I want to be.

A few weeks ago, I made the spontaneous decision to visit some friends in South Carolina. I used my (very tiny) savings and bought a round-trip ticket. I’m sitting here in the airport, in a state I’ve never been before, and I feel optimistic. I’m stepping out of my tiny, business future focused life, and enjoying myself.

My goal, or maybe new year’s resolution, is going to be to live more. The cliché nature of that sentence makes me cringe, but it’s true. I’m 21 years old. I will never be younger and have less responsibility than I do at this moment.

Step back. Breathe.

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