My high school graduation hit me like a train. I feel like my whole life, I had been waiting for it to arrive, this thing that could take me away from the stresses of homework, exams, and lunch tables. I was never sure of exactly where it would take me, although sometimes I liked to imagine my first house, far away places to explore, and new people to meet and come to love. I would have challenges, of course, but I believed I was ready to face them. I was ready to jump off the platform and onto the train to the rest of my life.
While I was waiting on that platform, though, I dropped some things on the tracks. I got sick. I lost a friend to a car accident. As I tried desperately to pick myself up, the train finally arrived, full of happiness and celebration that only added to the weight now crushing me.
As much as it hurt, I’m still here. I survived my graduation and everything leading up to it. Although adulthood hit just as fast, I’m learning to handle it. I decided not to go to college, a decision I sometimes questioned, but I’m now grateful for some of the freedoms it allows me. I have also started working full-time, and was a little worried when I realized the job was only through the Fall. This, too, has actually turned out well for me.
I decided to stay at home for now (yes, for now, not forever.) so that I could go away as much as possible. In staying with my parents, I am free of a lot of extra expenses, so I’m able to save more while I’m working. Once my job is over, I have the freedom to go away without worrying about paying rent or a house sitter. Travel had been another thing weighing on my mind as I decided how to begin my adult life. Was it even realistic for me to travel? Where would I go? Could I afford it?
In sharing my plans with some family friends, I’ve actually discovered a lot of possible opportunities. I have connections now in Nicaragua, Chile, and Ireland, as well as some possibly in Thailand and Belize. I’d like to travel within the US as well, and I was actually invited on a road trip next year.
So, what is the point of all of this? For one thing, I haven’t written a blog post in weeks and really needed to catch up. For you reading this, though, I know life can be tough. Maybe you’re graduating this year like me, or you’re worried about what your future holds, or maybe you’ve been trying to make your way through real life for a while. Whatever point you are at in your life, the future is always kind of scary. We make plans and worry that they won’t work out. I’ve come to realize, though, that no matter what goes your way or what falls through, there are always opportunities to do something that makes you happy. It’s up to you to be somewhat stubborn in sticking to your goals, but also flexible in how they come about. Be open with others about what you want to do and be willing to accept help and advice. Don’t be discouraged if you choose a path that is different from those around you. There are other people like you, and you can make your goals a reality. All you have to do is make that jump, and keep going.