Future Trip

Today’s Daily Create is actually something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. I’m two and a half terms away from graduating with my Bachelors, and I’m starting to grow concerned about what happens next.

No lie, I was talking to my mother about this just the other day. She told me to stop “future tripping” and set goals for myself instead. I’m pretty sure she meant “instead of deciding what you’ll do next, think about who you want to be” or something like that. (It seems mom-ish, right?) Sometimes, though, it’s hard to tell, so I might be wrong.

So, please understand, this was actually incredibly difficult for me. What do I aspire to be? How do I aspire to be? What the heck do I want to do with my life?

Mom says no one has the answers at twenty-two. My cousins did, for awhile — but they’ve all changed their minds. I’m starting to believe her, now. I didn’t when they were all so sure that they knew what their futures held, when we were eighteen and I was the only one without a plan. Moms are like that, though — always right when you least expect it.

Here I am, twenty-two years old. I don’t know who I aspire to be — at least I can’t think of a way to put it into images. I aspire to be intelligent, a good person — and most importantly, capable. But what does that translate to? What do I associate with these things? Do other people make the same associations? Will I get my point across?

I guess it’s pretty hard to miss by now, but I’m adopted. Still, I love my parents, and I do try to be part of my extended family, for what good it does me. I found out when I was sixteen, when my cousin joined the Navy (somehow I missed it when his brother joined the Army), that we were a bit of a military family.

I had know, of course, that Dad was in the Army when he was younger, and I knew my cousin was in the Army as well, with his brother joining the Navy. I then found out that Dad’s dad was also in the Navy, my uncle in the Army, and extended family who I don’t know well had been in either one or the other.

None of them were girls, to the best of my knowledge, but hell. It feels a bit like tradition.

When I was sixteen, I wanted to join the Army like my dad. When I was eighteen, I wanted to join the Air Force. When I was seventeen, my mother told me I was going to go to college in Missouri, and like I have since I was fourteen, I did what I was told.

When I was twelve, I looked myself in the mirror and decided I wanted to be a psychiatrist.

At twenty, I began to consider going to law school.

I’m afraid that if I join the military, I’ll break my mother’s heart, and my family has enough to deal with right now. Maybe things will change before December, when I do have to officially make my choice, but maybe not. My dad’s family would approve, I think — but I don’t owe them anything, and I’ve long since given up caring about their opinions of me. With one exception: the cousin who joined the Navy. I hope he’d be proud of me, but due to the reduction in forces, his contract isn’t being resigned, so who knows. He might hate me for it.

I have family on my mom’s side who are lawyers, and they’d be thrilled if I went down that road, I’m sure. I think it would be fun. I’m tempted to take the LSATs, even if I don’t apply for law school.

As for psychiatry… I’m not sure I want to go through medical school. I’m awful at Chemistry, and, well… Yes.

For now, I’m going to graduate, go home, and see my family. I’m going to get a part-time job and study for whatever test I’m taking (LSATs for law school, GRE for medical school, or the AFOQT for the Air Force). I’ll likely take the AFOQT and go from there. I’m sure Mom’ll forgive me someday, if I make it. I might not. And that would be okay too, I think, though right now I’m rather set on it.

But back to the Daily Create. I’ve been considering as I’ve been writing this post, and I think only one thing will fit the bill.

There may be many things that I want to do, or that I want to be. But at the end, there’s really only one thing I hope for, above all else.

Happiness is a Good Book

I want to be happy. And for me, right now at least, happiness is a good book.