Friday, January 21, 2011

Childhood Dreams

Growing up I didn't think too much about the future. I figured everything would work itself out the way it was supposed to. I remember in 8th grade our school counselors had us fill out forms for high school to put us on some sort of vocational track. We wrote down on a piece of paper as 13 year olds what we thought we would like to become when we grew up. I took it seriously. I had never really thought about it before. It felt like a monumental decision that would in essence define me and my future ambitions. I didn't really have any then. I wanted to get home to play Madden or go shoot some hoops at the Catholic Church with my friends. I wanted to go to movies at the Hollywood 24 or ride around on my inline skates in the empty parking lot of the old BellSouth building. I didn't know what the heck I wanted to do with my life.

I wrote down Journalism. My parents thought I was a good writer.

I went to high school and knew even less about my future. My life consisted of girlfriends and parties and varsity baseball practice. I knew I wanted to go to college and have a self-defined successful life someday, but it wasn't now. I took the SATs and then the next step was to look at colleges. I wanted to go to UNC, but Briana Kelly was the only one from our grade to be accepted there. I went to UGA instead.

I was forced to decide on a path again, just like in 8th grade. I chose Psychology; it was excitingly interesting in high school, I figured it would be something fun to study more about. And then I started to think about life after college. Welcome to my life as an indecisive, worry wort. I changed my Major to Advertising ("ooh applying Psychology kind of to something more realistic"), and then to Education ("I'm not really interested in anything, but I do like kids"), and then back to Psychology ("I don't really have a passion to teach any specific subject, I have no idea what I want to do next, I'll just get a degree in something I find interesting and figure it out later"). I graduated in May of 2010 with probably less of an idea of what I wanted to do than when I started college.

"I am going to hike the Appalachian Trail someday", I told myself for years and years. You can probably see the overall trend here. My life up until this point has been one big, indecisive clustercuss, thank you Fantastic Mr. Fox. I feel like I say to myself "ooh that sounds wonderful" or "hey I really want to do that" all the time, always followed by a "someday". I'm tired of the someday and I'm tired of the indecision.

It's like I'm not willing to accept the responsibility of growing up. I'm terrified to stumble or make a wrong move that I'm paralyzed. I need this time to comprehend my life thus far; to take a step back from "everyday" and just live simply for a little while. I feel like I need to charge up for something, for adulthood or just my future. I'm confused and my brain doesn't seem to want to kick into gear and flow smoothly.

I don't really know if leaving for 6 months is going to solve my indecision or answer all of my questions, but I think it will at the very least give me an opportunity to accept a lot of things about myself and be more confident in whatever direction my future takes me. I look forward to the commitment of the trail and I am excited to fulfill one of my greatest childhood dreams.

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