Sunday, January 29, 2012

Peeking Around the Corner

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More than ever before, I think, I feel like my future is this big, creepy question mark dangling in front of my nose, so close to my face that it looks more like a blur than anything. People keep asking me what I want to do with my life, and I just kind of smile and say, "Oh, I don't know, something with literature." Then they assume that I want to be an English teacher and I let them because, though I don't really want to be an english teacher, I even less so want to talk to someone who wants answers to questions I'm just beginning to ask myself. Then I've got people talking to me about relationships, and finding a boyfriend/hook-up guy/spouse. People keep telling me "Well, you've got to be more confident/outgoing/annoying, because you only attract what you give off!" I'm so tired of people telling me that "I attract what I give off," and better yet, that I should adjust my behavior only so that I attract a different brand of guy. I finally feel like I'm embracing who I am, and more importantly, learning how to show that person to other people. My lack of good friends who have stuck by me for long periods of time, coupled with every boy I've dated telling me I need to change myself to better suit him, has led me to believe that I, in my current state, am not worth all that much. I work hard every day to remind myself that I am, because I do like who I am, and who I continue to become, and every day I get a little more comfortable showing people more and more pieces of who I am.

Right now, there are a lot of people in my life who expect me to know what I want and who I want to marry and what my expected salary in 2015 will be, when in reality, I have no clue! Well, maybe I've got some inklings, but no one seems to want inklings from me, just answers and plans. I had plans for a long time, until I realized that plans, for the sake of plans, are not very good plans to have. Do I want to figure things out for myself? Of course! But right now, I want to hone in on the things I love, and cultivate myself into something extraordinary. I want to read creepy stories, classics, and poetry that makes me uncomfortable due to how good it is. I want to continue to write my own poetry about tumbleweeds and scabs and falling in love, give myself a voice, and maybe, just maybe publish something one day. I want to be a better student, but not to the point where I'm unhappy. I want to bake more. I really want to go for a hike instead of just reblogging pictures of hikers and mountains on tumblr. I don't want to live my life with expectations of what my life should be, or could be, or what anyone else believe my life should or could be. I figure I should just do all of this stuff and figure things out as I go along. That's not going to be good enough for all of the people who want me to have more friends or have a career plan or have a boyfriend for the sake of having a boyfriend, but it should be good enough for me, and I think it is.

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Until tomorrow,
Nicole

16 comments:

  1. i do enjoy these photos, even if you don't. and the words especially. i don't understand people's needs to understand the future of others. i don't see why it would be anyones concern but your own.
    i still get the same questions. i've gotten so used to giving a certain answer, i'll probably just do it anyway. 'oh yeah i'm getting my bfa in photography, then going on to get my mfa in photography so i can teach at the junior college level.'

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  2. I'm so proud of you with this post! It takes a lot to admit to yourself you don't know what you want from the future but admitting it and knowing that it's a big mystery, is the first step towards being happy. The future is terrifying and I try not to think about what's going to happen when I leave university in the summer but knowing that I'm happy in myself and will continue to feel like I can give something to the world is enough sometimes. You are valuable and you are beautiful, you should always remember you don't need to change for anyone!

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  3. Is it just me, or do questions like this feel so outdated?? "What are you going to do? Who are you going to marry?" blah blah....I'm in my 20's, why do I have to figure that out now??! I'm sure if you asked any of those askers if their 20-something plans all worked out they wouldn't have. Or even if they are anywhere close to the same person they were when they were in their 20's. No one is. Yes, graduating college is a huge life event, and it does mean entering into a new phase that often involves a job...but that doesn't mean you have to have your whole life planned! Almost everyone I know has or is planning on soon leaving the field they entered shortly after graduating, and I only graduated four years ago. It just goes to show that as much as you plan, life doesn't always turn out that way. I always felt that while it is good to have goals and objectives and whatnot, to say that you want ____ job or want to date _____ guy when you don't is dishonest and, frankly, short sighted. Personally, I would much rather have some one tell me that they aren't sure what they want to do but they know what they love doing and will keep pursuing it, and hopefully the future will become clearer one day.

    Hang in there! All this big scary life stuff is, well...big and scary. And the pressures that come along with are not exactly enjoyable. But I'm sure that if you keep on remembering who you are and what is really important to you that things will work out in the end. Because being yourself = being happy. And isn't that what life is really about anyway?

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  4. This post is so beautifully written-- and I can agree with you on a number of points you've raised. I'm an art major, and so people ask me similar questions about what I want to do. An art teacher? Sure, I say. But I'm not really sure. I think exploring right now is the perfect option in our lives-- we need to grasp what we can and not worry about anything else. And we need to find out more about ourselves until we know who we really are before we freak out about who we're marrying! You keep on truckin', lovely lady!

    This outfit is so pretty, too, of course. :) I love the matchy-matchy tights and scarf. Those earrings are just precious!

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  5. Brilliant post, it's quite motivating! I've recently start uni and thought I knew what I wanted to be.. now I have no idea. I know I have three years until I need to "decide", but I'm just panicing right now when really I should just be enjoying it :(

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  6. A lot of these same things have been weighing heavily on my mind and I'm sure most people can relate as well. On one hand I want to go with the flow and let things fall into place naturally... but how laid back is enough? I want to be proactive and forge my future. I don't have any of the answers right now and frankly when people ask me what I'm up to I just tell them I'm not in a position to talk about anything. It is extremely annoying to have to answer the same three questions to every person you come across. Right now I'm going with the path where I don't worry about anything. I think it's the only way I'll stay sane. Please don't ever change yourself for anyone! You are so worth it.

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  7. Girl, we need to skype sometime. We are in the same place in a lot of ways. (I'm not joking about the skype thing.) I offer you a digital high five for that post and I can offer you nothing but support for what you've said. YOU are your longest-standing friend and you can't let that relationship suffer, now, can you?

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  8. I could not have said it better myself! I, like many of these commenters, have also been nagged by the questions for years. It drives me nuts! There may not be a solution, but I'm glad to know we're not alone in this. Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts and getting a conversation started!

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  9. God, we are so on the same page here. Literally just tonight I was eating dinner with my parents and they started asking me about my future and it was just so overwhelming and I hated every second of it. It started with where I want to transfer to (because I'm currently at community college) and then what kind of job I want to get with my English degree (high five to being an English major who doesn't want to teach) to what that job will pay to where I want to live to how much it would cost to live there and the whole time I was just like OH MY GOD I AM 20 I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS! And for some reason I just feel a bit silly making plans because we can't predict how life will turn out, no matter how much we try to. Three years ago I was heading off to my freshman year of college and I had zero intentions of leaving that school and coming home and living with my parents. But, here I am, because that's just how life is sometimes. Anyway, sorry I just exploded all over your comments! It's just crazy to me that I read this right when I've been thinking about the exact same stuff. Thank you for writing this, Nicole. If you ever want to talk or anything, I am seriously just a e-mail/message/whatever away. I mean it! <3

    Oh, and you look amazing in that skirt! It's perfect for you and I'm so happy you bought it!!

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  10. i think there's way too much pressure on people to know "what they want to do" with their lives. it certainly annoyed me to high heaven when i was going into college.

    i think people are obsessed with this concept because it provides a sort of (false) security about the future. like if there's a plan in place, everything is in order. people's brains like to put things in neat little boxes, so that they can categorize them easily. "oh, you're going to be a doctor/ lawyer/ english teacher. that makes sense." unfortunately, human beings aren't quite as simple.

    i've had a thousand and one jobs, and have found myself gradually falling into a career path that i like. but even so, i'm not sure i'll want to do it forever. i think you're right where you need to be. don't let society, your parents, friends, etc. tell you any different if it's not right for you. let things happen naturally :)

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  11. I think people ask you (and everyone) these things because they don't know what else to say to someone at this stage in their life. I mean, even I ask questions like that, even though I'm sick of hearing them (and yes, at 28 I still get asked the same things). It's annoying, but just learn some pat responses to get rid of people with. : D

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  12. people just run out of valuable things to say, so they ask about your future like its some big deal to them how you spend it. when in reality, they'll still forget and ask you again about it later. i can understand the pressure, though, on your side of it. because you can't help but wonder yourself "what WILL i be doing in 5/10/20 years..?" i like that you're staying positive about yourself. set small goals about the kind of person you want to be, and you'll be happier that way.

    and as for the boys, let them come to you. from what i can tell, you're a real catch. don't settle for anything less than you secretly know you deserve. the people who ask and offer "advice" will still be there, but they usually mean well. i know what it feels like to be considered an old maid at 20 because i don't have a boyfriend. you have plenty of time to love and be by yourself!

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  13. Jasmine, Transient WithdrawalFebruary 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Aww Nicole! Don't worry about not knowing what you want to do. I didn't figure it out until my last quarter of undergrad, and Robert didn't figure it out until AFTER undergrad, so just take your time. And don't listen to them--you don't need to change for anybody. You are just fine the way you are :) You have the right mindset. Just keep going! I'm so proud of all you've accomplished and how much you've grown over the past few months. I'm a little jealous actually...<3

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  14. aww don't worry! No one really has a clue, even people who think they have everything all planned out- we never know when the snap of a wire will change everything. But, that is completely rude of people telling you to change. Sure, we all have things about ourselves we need to change but if we're telling others they need a major overhaul the only person in our lives who prob does is....... ourselves. haha sounds like you're doing great to me! & you look darling. Enjoy your life and having the time to enjoy a good read.
    http://dusanabotswana.com

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  15. Hi Nicole! You have the perfect attitude towards those people with all of their questions. Now is the time in your life when you can enjoy NOT knowing...revel in it! Life will always present you with opportunities, inspirations, and detours when the time is right. People stress WAY TOO MUCH! Oh, and by the way, if we really do attract what we put out there, then YOU will certainly be blessed with sensitivity, creativity, gentleness, silliness, passion, and fun in whatever relationship or opportunity comes your way.

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  16. Comfortable cute outfit. Love the kitty earrings. xo

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