Making decisions.

June 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Planning | Leave a comment

I think I’ve finally narrowed down what I want to do with myself for this next year.
This past month, between my graduation and Elyse’s this past week, I’ve heard a lot of speeches and advice about how this is the time to follow your dreams and do what you really want to do. It has made me think about a lot of things.

Society tries to push me (and my peers) to believe that we’re already running out of time, that we have to hurry up and get a job, start working our way up the ladder NOW. There’s no time to wait or dawdle or try different things. But when I listen to older friends and family members, I hear it in their voices and their words: take this time for yourself. Do what you want. Enjoy your freedom and independence before you have to jump into the rat race. I don’t want to look back with regret. I have so many years ahead of me to have a 9-5 (or 8-6?) job. People say I need to start networking and getting experience now. I believe(d) them, but I’m not even sure what field I want to go into. Sure, I graduated with a degree in Advertising, but I’m not sure at all that’s what I want to do. So many ideas are floating though my head. Maybe marketing…but what about teaching? Or higher education and student affairs? I could work in a study abroad office at a university, or work with a provider abroad. Or I could teach geography or social studies to elementary school students. Or I could be a tour guide. Or a travel writer. There’s so many possibilities.

And the truth is, I’m probably going to have to go back to school for most of those. But I’m not sure now what I want, and I need to take some time to think about it, to figure myself out, and take a break from the life I’ve always lived, that’s always been set out in front of me. There’s no path to follow anymore. This time it’s all my own choices.

So I’ve come to a fork, and I’m facing two choices. One which is slightly more “practical,” and one that I probably favor more but would be harder for some more conservative people to swallow.

First option: teach English in Spain.

Second option: live at home and work for 6 months and save up to take a round-the-world(ish) trip for 8-12 months. It will take a lot of planning and money, but living at home, while my friends and boyfriend are spread from Sweden to France to Alaska, I’m not going to have a lot else to spend my time and money on.

Both will take money. Spain only pays 700Euros a month, enough to pay rent and maybe cover a small bit of living expenses each month. It would be a good experience, sure, and would give me a taste of teaching, since it is one path I have considered. But it wouldn’t quench my thirst for discovery and adventure, for seeing the world. I would be relatively stranded on the Balearic Islands, as travel to and from the islands is ridiculously expensive. I would get to visit with Travis in France and Oscar in Sweden a couple times, probably before the beginning of the program and at Christmas, maybe during our spring breaks. It would be an experience, and would force me to learn some language (but they don’t speak Spanish/Castilian, but Catalan, which is totally different.)

I have a lot to think about.


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