It feels a little odd to begin my blog with a post that has such a dramatic and equally depressing title, but it’s exactly what I’m doing. The end is indeed near.
To clarify I’m not talking about the end of the world, because let’s be honest, I couldn’t predict it with any more accuracy than the next person. What I am referring to is the end of my AmeriCorps VISTA term. Earlier today I found myself on the phone with my VISTA leader. It was the basic check in to make sure I haven’t lost my mind while living in poverty kind of call most of us VISTA’s are familiar with. She had questions about how I was feeling with less than a month and a half to go, and I had questions about exit paperwork. It was all very AmeriCorps-ish and to be honest, a little boring. It did however, bring up an important topic.
What am I going to do next?
It’s the questions my parents, and everyone else for that matter, have been asking me for months. Now if you are anything like me, you absolutely dread the notion of answering a question you can’t answer. What do I want to do next? I have no idea. I’ve been thinking about it since I accepted my AmeriCorps position last year. In fact, this exact question is what made me look into AmeriCorps in the first place. Now normally my answer is incredibly generic, and usually contains something about finding a job in my field. I actually just gave the exact same generic answer to my VISTA leader on the phone earlier today. I’m an expert at the generic answer.
I think about the generic answer so much, I’ve even created a generic life to go along with it. I see myself in various offices, in various apartment, with various friends, eating various foods… I think you get my point. None of the scenarios I’ve created seem all that horrible, but they also don’t seem all that great either. I want to live. I want to see and do things people with mediocre jobs dream about as they stare lifelessly into their computer screens day after day. I want to see and do the things I dream about as I stare lifelessly into my computer screen day after day. I want the freedom to sleep until noon, or leave on a whim. I want my only responsibility for a day to be keeping myself alive. Obviously I have big dreams for my life.
In all actuality I do, and the more I stop and think about those dreams, the more I realize that at 25 I shouldn’t have to have an answer. More importantly I shouldn’t have to give the answer everyone else wants to hear. I can choose the answer that fascinates and excites me more than the prospect of a cubicle and mediocre job ever will…. Travel. I want to travel. I want to sell everything I own, buy a backpack and a plane ticket, and travel. It’s what I dream about doing more than anything else, and I have long lists of the things I want to do and the places I want to visit as evidence.
Lao-tzu said that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and this entry is going to be my single step. I finally have an answer. I’m going to sell everything I own, buy a backpack and a plane ticket, and travel.