My point of no return has arrived. Funny how something can linger in the air around you and you know very well that it is there, yet you try to keep it at bay by ignoring its very existence. It’s like an eavesdropper in a restaurant in the middle of an intimate moment. Sure, you ignore that person but that does not mean they are not there, sipping their coffee, making incredibly awkward eye contact as you spill your heart out on the table in front of you. Well, that thing happens to be less concrete than a human being, it happens to be my future. Now this is not to say that I have not always had things in mind for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I am not only a dreamer, I am also a planner. It has just been more fun in the last two or so years to simply take things as they come and enjoy “being young”.
There are times I sit in my hammock here and really try to materialize in my mind’s eye what my life will look like two years from now. And I can honestly say that it changes every single time I try. What a frustrating reality. Sure for some people it is exciting and refreshing. For some people I am different, more adventurous at times, somewhat of a risk taker…I aspire to be those things. In reality I am just a young woman stuck in between two clashing worlds that both have what she wants. I am 23 years old; I am still a baby but not a baby at all. To make this a bit more clear: I do not have enough years under my belt to be truly wise and I have too many years tallied up to be considered young and naïve overall. Thus, admittedly I am at a point in my life where my decisions are not only exciting, they are a tad bit scary. Asking myself what I want no longer consists of an answer like “I want to be a vet or a pilot or an interior designer or a therapist…” it is all-encompassing now. When I think about what I want to do professionally it is not all about the money anymore. It is not about a title, nor is it about location, location, location – it is more than that.
The exciting and scary part about finally paying attention to that annoying eavesdropper is that I am able to clarify who I am and who I want to be. My time in Panama has offered me a great deal of self-reflection. All of the previously stated, enticing aspects of professional life are things that matter but not enough. Right now they are not enough for me to run back to school for an extra title. They are not enough for me settle for less than the whole package. The thing is, I realize that whatever I decide to do has to be something I believe in. I have to love what I do and I have to know that I am doing something beneficial for people outside of myself. I have realized that much about myself thus far. I am a passionate person and it has taken me a long time to realize how to control my passion in order to use it productively. When I retire I want to be able to look back on my career and know that I loved what I did beyond the day-to-day ups and downs of work. I am drastically closer to that place right now than I ever have been in my life. I am excited when I think about my possibilities even given our current circumstances, to me that says it all. Being a volunteer on my own has offered me a freedom I would not otherwise have known and I needed this freedom. Creativity and time to fail has been the best recipe for me this past year. I feel more calm and collected about my future now. There is no longer this underlying pressure to have the right answer or the more impressive goal – I am in love with my life and that is what matters to me.
Vulnerability has always made me twitch. Just the thought of really sharing myself completely freaks me out…things change, so can I. Thus I post this entry, in an attempt to be more than sarcastic about what is going on with me down here. Things are up and down, high and low every day AND I LOVE IT. I am growing and learning so much sometimes I feel like my brain and heart will explode at the same time. It is a pretty amazing feeling and I can only pray that every person can have the same feelings at least once in their lives.
En fin, I am happy, healthy, peaceful and SO EXCITED TO COME HOME IN LESS THAN A MONTH!!!!