Friday, October 28, 2011

Advice for the Future Quarter-Lifers

Being 25 is more challenging than is led on.  I heard one of my colleagues mention that she is glad she is not in her 20's anymore because it was a rough time in her life.  Man is it...  Now that we are adults trying to support ourselves and making our own decisions, there is a lot of self-doubt.  Am I doing the right thing?  Can I do this for the rest of my life?  And the worst question of all, who am I?

Wow, you think.  How do you not know who you are at 25.  I brought this question up to my dad one time, and he said that he was still trying to figure out the answer.  The truth is, we go through new experiences in all phases of our life, and these experiences challenge our identity.  I can't help but ask myself what it is that I want.  I can make generalizations about what I want, but the means to the goal seems unrealisitic.

When you are out on your own, that wonderful idealistic side is challenged.  I don't want to lose this aspect of my personality, but constant rejection causes you to question what is real.  I can see myself finding happiness, but I just can't find the route to that happiness.  I thought that teaching would ignite passion and a sense of purpose, but instead, it has stirred my beliefs and values.  This confusion has instilled feelings of guilt and worthlessness.  How could a good person leave the education of our future society members?  Is it selfish to want more?  After all, many people leave their current professions to become teachers and make a difference. 

If I could make a recommendation for the future quarter-lifers out there, it would be to slow down.  I worked so hard to follow the right path.  I stayed at home for college, I finished within four years, I got a job right away, and I worked to get my masters in under two years.  This is what you are supposed to do, right?  But now, it feels like going through the motions.  Why didn't I take time to study abroad?  Why didn't I take more time to investigate possible careers?  Sure I wanted to be a teacher since kindergarten, but did I really know what a teacher was?  A politician that pushes paper and makes choices that goes against his or her beliefs?

I think about the economy and the number of graduates out there that don't have jobs and had to return home.  I know that I am supposed to be grateful for a job and I sound incredibly selfish with my complaining, but it is my life, and I only get to live it once.  I've made choices that have predetermined my future, and I wish I could have taken more time to become aware of who I am and what I want.  But that investigation is occurring now.  I will not settle for complacency.  So in the end, I am just trying to figure out what is next.

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