Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cleaning Out the Mess I've Made

I rearranged my room this week. I dusted and cleaned and turned and flipped. When it was done the only difference was that what was on one side of the room is now in the exact some spot on the opposite wall. But it is different. I walk into my room now and it seems rejuvenated. It seems like someone else’s room, someone else’s private space. It left me feeling a bit more inspired to move some more clutter, but it also left me uncomfortable and forced to adjust.
There have been a lot of changes lately. The class I entered school with graduated, displacing some close friends. My best friend, who also happens to be my roommate, moved out to start the next phase of her life. I bought a new bed. Being a grown up is beginning to sink in as a permanent change. Since my December graduation it has been exciting and hopeful, full of promise and purpose. Now, after five months on the job, renewing my lease for another year, and watching some close friends transition to the next phase of their lives, I am left feeling stuck. I think it is too soon to feel stuck. I think I am too young.
My sister had to do a survey for one of her classes and she asked what advice people in the workforce have for recent graduates. The most common answer was to chase your dreams. To go after your dream job and just get your foot in the door. My answer was that graduates shouldn’t try to get their dream job right out of college; they should just take their next step, whatever that may be for the time being in their lives. But this made me pause and ask myself, why am I the only one who said to grab the first opportunity within reach? I tell myself that I am all about pursuing dreams and passions. I want to be about pursuing what makes me happy. And as I write this I am beginning to realize that maybe what makes me happy isn’t my dream job right now, maybe that’s why I don’t advise graduates to go out and get their own, because maybe it means they leave a city they love or a person they’re not sure they want to live without.
But maybe my answer just means I have forgotten what I was so sure of when I graduated. Maybe I need to rediscover what I am passionate about. This is the real problem. I have forgotten. I realized while graduating and apply for grad school programs I really didn’t want to attend, that I am not sure what I’m passionate about anymore. I pushed myself so hard all through school and gave all the expected answers to the expecting people that I drowned myself in what I believed others wanted to hear. I lost myself while trying to make other people happy (or what I thought they would be happy hearing). I took what I was good at academically – giving the right answers – and confused it with my life. Now it is time to DISCOVER. That is my advice.