path, choice, 20s, adulthood, career, degree, learning
drive, life

Narrowing the Path: A Challenge

I’m 20 years old, and I’m just trying to figure it out.

The last four years have brought more change that I could have imagined. To the outside observer, I may seem like the same person, more or less, that I was in high school. The truth is, I have actually grown a lot.

At the time, I was certain I was as mature, as smart, as capable as I was ever going to be. My mother, father, stepfather, teachers, etc. like to remind me I wasn’t, much to my contempt. I couldn’t have been more wrong about anything.

Had I remained the moody, self-righteous, arrogant individual I was when I was sixteen years and angry at the world for being too simple, I would be miserable today; I was miserable then for no good reason, and now I actually have obligations.

The last four years have matured me. I know how good I have it — and have pretty much always had it — and I know that I can probably do anything I set my mind to.

Therein lies my problem: I can’t set my mind to anything.

As an adolescent, I had too much opportunity to pick up and drop hobbies the second I got bored or frustrated. I participated in almost every sport at one point or another, at some kind of competitive level. I also received art supplies, instruments, and/or technology whenever something piqued my interest. For most developing minds, this would seem like a fantastic problem to have — I’m not ignorant of the priveledge I grew up with. My personal problem is that I was never forced to commit. To anything. Ever.

I have brought my limited attention span with me into university life, and it makes everything more stressful than it needs to be. Every time I’m interested in something, I throw myself into the opportunity.

I become like a plastic bag that’s just a bit too small for the waste bin it’s in. My elastic will hold tight for a while, as I keep allowing junk to consume all my personal space. Eventually, though, the weight and pressure is going to become too great, and my elastic snaps. And that has happened before.

I have piled activities and responsibilities on top of one another to the point where I can’t handle it and I just collapse and let all of it go to hell. IMG_0936

Had I learned how to commit, how to dedicate myself to one important thing when I was younger, I might not have this problem now. I might be able to more effectively choose a path and stick to it. I might have avoided pissing people off, stressing myself out and, ultimately, failing.

Now, I’ve reached a point in my professional life where I kind of need to pick something, at least to start out with. I can’t even do that right:

I chose what’s probably the broadest major in existence: Journalism and Mass Communication. Everything is mass communication. On top of that, I stuck a political science degree. Everything is political now.

Basically, I gave myself room to do whatever I want, aside from work in medicine, engineering, or any other kind of “hard” science. Hence, this entire website.

I have dedicated this site to allowing myself to explore my main interests — all the things I can picture myself doing for a living without wanting to quit the second I wake up in the morning.

IMG_1283That’s my primary goal: to be content with whatever I do. I want to move away from the false idea of “success” I’ve been fed my whole life. I don’t need extravagance, and I don’t want to be well known for some career accomplishments that don’t do anything to fulfill me as an individual.

I want to wake up every morning and be happy about the day I have planned, not wish I could hide from it in bed. I want to live a stress-free life that doesn’t cause me to have nervous breakdowns if I think I might let someone else down. I want to allow myself to stay a good enough person that I have a chance at doing something good for society.

That’s the path I need to find.

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