Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The more you see

....the less you know, the less you find out as you go. Bono knew what he was talking about when he sang these lyrics (in "City of Blinding Lights"). I find I relate to these words, especially as I move further ahead with my studies and with my life.

Last year, I knew it all (or so I thought). I was going to become a doctor, an obstetrician, who worked in the Third World. I knew where I was going to medical school, where I'd work, what I would do with the rest of my life. I was going to have my own rape crisis/crisis pregnancy center and help women empower themselves. I was going to travel, I was going to get married and have six kids (trust me, I would find a way to make it all work), I was going to do Peace Corps, Doctors without Borders, name an organization and I'd somehow end up working for it.

And then God laughed.......Hard.

While I was good at science, I got burned out by the competitiveness and wacky grading methods (there is a reason they call them "mad" scientists). I trained to work in rape crisis for a short stint and got burned out by that (worthy work, but emotionally draining, especially with some of the situations people get into). Issues of my own life that I tried to bury made themselves known to me and I had to deal with them. I had nights of tears, frustration, feelings of incompetence (I hadn't yet held down a job and no amount of studying improved my grades on tests), and days where I wanted to hit myself on the head. I'm thankful for the friends I have, because they helped me stay somewhat sane despite all of this.

And then..........

My mother and friends started asking what it was I really wanted, not what I felt like I had to do. It was weird, because I had spent the majority of my HS career and part of my college career following a plan and seeing no other options. I realized I wanted to explore my interest in Italy. I wanted a break from premed. I wanted to have a job over the summer (not try for a competitive medical internship when I hadn't even worked at a coffee shop or something beforehand). Mainly, I wanted to grow up and slow down.

I went home exhausted and feeling slightly defeated. But things happened. I got a job. I explored other interests. I started writing again. I spent time with my family. I came back to school, got a better job, and thoroughly enjoyed all of my classes. I figured out a major. I learned a lot about myself. I'm looking for internships and scholarships and at possibilities for study abroad. I'm learning how to be still. I gained a social life. I started growing up.

I have no idea what will happen with the rest of my life. I'm halfway done with school and hoping to volunteer with either the Peace Corps or a Catholic organization after college. What kind of job will I have? Will I go to grad school? Will I marry? The possibilities are endless. I could do so many things. But I'm not worried and I'm not following a cookie cutter plan anymore. Finally, I'm taking things one day at a time.

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