Picking a future

26 Jan

I wrote a few days ago about the freedom that comes with being graduated – namely, that you get to make your own choices now. However, as with all freedoms, that freedom comes with great responsibility – and outright terror.

I can already feel time slipping away – I’ll be 24 in March. That’s too old to be young and stupid. Heck, when my mom was 24, she was a mom! And as I realize I’m already in my mid-twenties, I can’t help but freak out about all my hopes and dreams, and trying to figure out which ones I really want.

Part of me wants the whole domestic shebang – marriage and kids and a cute little house and the PTA (and of course, I’d have to do the whole finding-a-dude thing, which is easier said than done). Part of me wants to be a nomad, living out of a suitcase (which involves figuring out a way to earn money whilst not being tied to an office, also easier said than done). Part of me wants a high-powered career (and I’m also not entirely sure what that would look like or how to get there). I’m drawn to living in a big city, with a ton going on, and also to a small town, where you run into friends at the grocery store.

If I had a single dream, I could be working towards it, but instead I feel like every choice I make is taking me farther away from something I might want, even as it’s taking me closer to something else. I have a 10-year window (mayyyyybe 15) for having kids, but those are also my prime years to travel – but how am I going to have a real relationship if I never stay in one place long enough? And then, whether I found a relationship or not, I’m certain I would regret never living abroad, or spending six months taking the train across the country, staying somewhere for a few weeks when I felt like it.

And yet, I can’t just be stagnant, because that will leave me just as confused five years from now as I am today. I’ve always been someone that thrived on goals, but right now it seems like the hardest step is figuring out what the goal is.

I was always told I could be anything I wanted, and it’s finally soaking in that I can’t be everything I wanted.


3 Responses to “Picking a future”

  1. autumnkovachak February 1, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    It is overwhelming. I finally feel like I have some direction after wading through the everything-I-could-be options. I feel like I was in a stagnant stage last year but looking back, I think I needed it to “incubate” a little longer. At the time, it didn’t feel productive but I believe I still grew since I, like you, am motivated to keep seeking and have an open mind to the opportunities that come up. It’s not a bad place to be. Don’t worry, I don’t think we will be just as confused in five years. A lot can change in just one. 🙂

    • laurenkcampbell February 1, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

      So true, and I love watching my friends go after their dreams! These last two years particularly have really been a matter of figuring out what I don’t want in my life maybe more than what I do, but I can usually tell things are moving forward.

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