Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where do I go from here?

Is it possible to have multiple dreams? And if so, what happens when it's not really possible to do them all? I've reached a point in my life where I seriously have to ask myself the question: Where do you see yourself in five years? Which seems like a simple enough question. If I asked my classmates that I'd probably get answers like: Graduating college, starting my career, and getting married; or, Going on to medical/pharmacy/law school; or even, Working in a factory/farm/store/etc; or possibly a simple, I have no effing clue, why are you asking me? But I can't seem to find an answer. I feel like there's too many different things I could do and still be happy and successful.

For most of my childhood I aspired to be a veterinarian. I've had sooo many pets over the years: hamsters, dogs, fish, birds, frogs, and hermit crabs. I always loved it when we took my dogs to the veterinarian for a check-up. It seemed like the perfect job, getting to be with animals all day long. Then I started taking horse-back riding lessons, and I fell in love with horses. Then I knew that I wanted to be an equine/bovine veterinarian. I could work with horses (and cows, but mostly because that would make sense seeing how I live in the Midwest) all day and make a heap load of money doing it. And honestly I could still see myself doing this. I know I could do it, sure it's a lot of schooling, but so what? I mean we are talking about the rest of my life.

However, I've also always loved writing. When I was younger people would ask me what are you going to do when you grow up. I'd respond: I'm going to be a best-selling novelist! They'd all laugh and do that "Well isn't she the cutest" face. (This was on the off days when I didn't want to be a veterinarian, of course.) And now as a young adult (teenager, whatever) I could totally see myself living that lifestyle. Getting a job as a journalist for a magazine or newspaper, on the off-hours working on my future best-selling novel. I've also always wanted to live in a big city. Growing up in a small town, going to a school of three-hundred some students, it's been kind of hard to really get an urban experience. And a four-day trip to St. Louis or Chicago does NOT count, Mom.

Then there's the practical career option I've been considering. This one would probably make both my parents very happy. I'm kind of a nerd in the way I'm good at and like math. There's just something so satisfying in solving a problem, getting the right numbers, and getting only one right answer. My parents are both accountants so I got a view of that world pretty early. I know it's a career I'd be good at, and probably like. I could also do international business, I love foreign languages. So that way I could travel like I've always wanted.

Sigh, see the dilemma? There's too many choices. What happened to the days when your parents made them all for you? I know at sixteen, almost seventeen, it's not a terrible MAKE THIS DECISION NOW type of thing. But I'm the type of person who likes to have these things figured out. I turn them all over and over in my mind, trying to picture myself living each of these lives. Trying to figure out which one would be the most fulfilling, the one where I would be happiest. Because in the end isn't that what we're after? A long, happy, fulfilling life?

I just have to keep telling myself that I'm still growing and maturing. I know that if I give it time I'll know what I want to do with my life. It's just not easy for an over-analyzing, perfectionist like myself to keep working towards a future. When I don't even know what future it is I'm working towards. I guess until then I'll just keep taking online personality tests and career quizzes until the answer falls from the sky and hits me on the head.


  1. i was just about to give you the advice of going in the direction of what makes you happy when you mentioned the same thing.

    you want to have a nice job so you can survive in this world, but really, in the end, is it really going to matter what job you chose to have? i don't think so. i think we should focus on the things that make us better people, help us grow. if any of those things make you happy and a better person, go for it.

    as for your question about having multiple dreams? absolutely try to accomplish as much as you can. i've never been the girl who dreamt of her future and planned out her life. sure i have an idea of what my life will be...hopefully in 5 1/2 years i'll be a pharmacist with a job offer, but really i'm just taking it one step at a time. i can't even picture myself at 25. it's too weird. but i know if i hold on to my values and the things that make me happy, i'll be alright.

  2. Okay, having been through a similar situation (as in, stressing out about making the RIGHT decision the first time) I've gotta just say a few things.

    Go to a college you love. Take classes (one or two in everything you love) and you'll learn. Once you've declared a major (which doesn't have to be your first year!) go with it. And guess what? TONS of people switch majors AND schools (me!)

    With that, you have to decide what is in theory something you love, and what you actually could see yourself doing for the rest of your life. In high school, I was set on Creative Writing and writing novels. I got to college and realized I loved writing, but I wasn't nearly as passionate about it to write novels for a living. I then had the dream to write for a magazine, but I got into Journalism and realized it just wasn't for me.

    And now I'm Graphic Design, and transferring. And I couldn't be more thrilled. And I'm on my fourth semester of college.

    Don't worry, there isn't ONE right decision, you just have to put your whole heart into what you decide. Life works out. :]

  3. I agree with Allyson Kate. I mean, I'm at basically the same place in life. I'm going through the same things.

    At this point, I've chosen the school that I want to go to. I'm moving from a city of 20,000 to the middle of Atlanta. HUGE change. And I'm nervous as hell.

    I think I know what I want at this point, but whenever anyone asks me, I always say that I'm starting with this, but that I might change when I get to school. I think that most people end up doing that.