Thursday, May 26, 2011

California Dreamin'...

For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

I saw this quote on my aunt's fridge twelve days ago. I made a mental note to remember to write it down later that night, but didn't actually do so until the day before leaving. My trip to California with one of my best friends made me realize a lot... A lot that I didn't think was possible. Sure, the trip was surely for a vacation, I thought, nothing else. It was an escape from my version of John Mellencamp's small town before starting working part-time again and interning. The first trip away from home without going with family, but instead with a friend who might as well be family.

Somewhere between taking the train to Los Angeles, trying alcohol for the first time, feeding a giraffe, and saying goodbyes, I realized that I'm incredibly lucky. I've been fortunate enough to be able to go on such a trip, see more of the world (which is one of my dreams), and all the while, have an incredible time doing so. (Though I don't foresee myself drinking alcohol in the near future... wine's an acquired taste.)

I also finally (somewhat) conceded that I'm a college senior. I'm not afraid of much... Snakes? Spiders? Heights? Those don't bother me. Failure? Rejection? The fact I'm graduating from college in twelve months? Now that's some scary shit.

I've heard the "you could go to grad school to avoid the real world a little longer" line more times than I can count. Guess what? I would LOVE to go to grad school. But therein lies another set of questions. Where? How much? And the big one: What do I want to study? I don't want to start studying something I'm going to hate. Will this summer internship help me decide that? Maybe. Maybe not.

Other decisions will also have to be eventually made... Looking for a big girl job, finding somewhere to live, and all those fun things. I've already told my parents that until I find a steady job and somewhere to live, I'll be moving back in with them. Even my protege through school's peer mentor program has asked me about this kind of stuff... And if it bothers me that I don't have a boyfriend. To be bluntly honest and open... It doesn't.

I told her exactly how I felt, and that was that life's a journey, and I just want someone to live and love it with. Love and life are two funny things... You can have life without a significant other, but to have life without having loved something, I think, is terrible. You don't have to love someone, but loving something so much that it gets you out of bed in the morning and excited...

Now that's what makes life worth living.