Daily Prompt: I Did It My Way
At 18 years old you think you know what the rest of your life is going to look like, but let’s be real, for the majority of newly graduated teenagers this is far from true. For myself, I was sure that my future was going to consist of living in San Diego with my boyfriend at the time but who would surely become my husband within a couple of short years. We would have a daughter and shortly after a son and live happily ever after. He would work to become a well known tattoo artist and I would somehow make time to continue going to community college and later transfer to a four year university where I would pursue a major in psychology. I would then, with two children at home, take the five year journey of getting my PhD in Psychology and become a psychologist. Obviously.
Okay. What? Why in the world would I even WANT that to be my future? I mean for one thing, my boyfriend at the time was awful. He was emotionally abusive, would send completely innappropriate messages to other girls and never made me feel good enough. When I think back and realize that HE was the reason that I stayed in San Diego to go to community college instead of heading out into the real world and attending one of the many schools that I got accepted to, I literally physically cringe. Secondly, who did I think I was? Superwoman? Getting a PhD in Psychology is hard enough for single women, let alone “married with two kids.” I’m not saying it isn’t possible, but it definitely isn’t all roses and sunshine like I imagined it to be. Essentially: I was delusional. But who isn’t at 18?
Even though at the time I seemed content with staying in my home town, I’ve always loved traveling and experiencing new cultures and ideas from different places. My mom was from Holland and would take me to Europe to visit our family about once every few years. She also took me to Norway, San Francisco, Hawaii, Virginia, Washington D.C. and my favorite and most vivid memories are from those trips. It’s as if my mind is set in a neutral zone when I am at home in California. My day to day is mundane, my actions and decisions are hardly important because what difference could they really make? Traveling to other places has always been the one thing to shake me to my core and wake up whatever interesting and thoughtful* person is inside of me.
(I mean thoughtful in the introspective and reflective way not in the thinking of other peoples feelings way. I like to think that I’m quite thoughtful towards other people on a daily basis, regardless of my whereabouts.)
This is why I will always regret staying in San Diego for college. I spent an extra five years in the same city that I grew up in and feel like I’ve wasted these years on routine and constant boredom. I am now 23 years old but I feel that my life is just as stagnant and lacking in appeal as it was when I was 18. It’s as if allowing myself to miss out on this opportunity to leave my roots has stunted my growth (mentally and emotionally, not physically. I’ve never been a coffee drinker.) It took me twice as long to break up with aforementioned boyfriend, to realize that I don’t even want kids, and to realize that I don’t actually want to be a physiologist or do anything even remotely having to do with psychology. (This realization came way too late seeing as how I’ve already obtained a degree in psychology.)
So. Im 23. Im still living in San Diego. I have a college degree in a field that I want nothing to do with. What’s next?
In May of this year I am going to Europe for a month. I will be going to Holland, Paris, Barcelona, Ibiza, Athens and Santorini. May 7 will also be my last day of residence in San Diego. I am leaving the same house that I’ve lived in for 18 years, selling all of my things, and on June 5 when I return from my travels, I will be moving to New York City. So what’s next? I guess we’ll see.