....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.
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.