Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The future, it's an uncertain one

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about the future, namely how uncertain it is, at least through my eyes. I turned 25 at the end of last year, and it's been a bit hard for me. Knowing that 25 years of my life are gone and I can never get them back is a little depressing. I feel like all through high school you know what you're supposed to do, you have your to-do list and you check everything off, one by one. Graduate high school, pick a major, choose a college, graduate again, marry someone, etc. I'm at the point in my life now where I have most, if not all, of these things checked off. So what do I do now? Where do I go from here?

I think we as a society make kids pick their majors too soon, I know I was rushed into picking mine. When you're 18 you have no idea what you want to do with your life (most of us don't anyway), and people change so much during their latter teens and twenties. I had always said I wanted to major in English, maybe teach for a while, and eventually I wanted to become a librarian. When I told people what I wanted to do, I was laughed at. No, not to my face, but I was mocked. "Wait... you want to major in English? And teach? Kids these days are horrible, why do you want to work with them five days a week? Do you know how much money teachers make?" Needless to say, I picked a more "glamorous" major that made more money and tried not to let it bother me too much. By the time I finished my Associate's degree I knew I had made a poor decision, but nothing could be done. Husband and I were getting married and moving away. I decided to go back to school "one day." One day has turned into three years later and school still hasn't happened. Part of it is due to my laziness (and I'm scared to death) and part of it is because school is so expensive, and we're still paying off Husband's school loans. Yes, I am still writing and will continue to write. But there is a very slim chance that writing will work out as a career for me, few people are lucky enough to have that opportunity. I need to know that I have a backup plan.

Over the past few weeks I've been thinking about it a lot and decided this fall I was going to take some classes at the local community college, and hopefully "one day" be able to afford to finish my Bachelor's degree in English. I was almost excited about it. Then I wake up to this article from the Austin Statesman, "AISD School board OKs plan that may cost 485 jobs." Nearly 500 people are probably going to lose their jobs this year. So even after I spend the next 4+ years of my life finally getting the degree I've wanted all along, it's still going to be hard, if not impossible, to be able to do what I want to do.

I'm so frustrated, but mainly upset. Upset with the economy for being so unstable. Upset at people that talked me out of my dream. Upset with myself that I listened.


  1. That's such a hard place to be in...I totally agree that few people actually KNOW what they want to do with the rest of their life at the age of 18. I know I didn't. I'm hoping things work out for you and your dream...you never know what tomorrow may bring :)

  2. Stephanie,

    I'm so sorry to hear that you are having a hard time. The most important thing is that you are doing whatever makes you happy, truly HAPPY. You deserve it all and can achieve anything you want. That sounds really lame, and I'm sorry, but it's true.

    You have such a vibrant, honest voice and I hope that whatever you choose you keep blogging.

  3. I completely understand how you are feeling. I found myself in the exact same boat at 25, and then we decided to start a family. Four children later I find myself with the same thoughts except now I'm a decade (or so) older and wonder where did time fly? How on EARTH am I pushing 40?

    Life is uncertain, so are dreams. But dreams keep us going, keep us reaching for something better. Pursue the things you want for yourself, no matter what others say. Life is not over, there's plenty of time for growth. There is always time for learning.

    When the economy started to slump, my husband had a wonderful job. I felt safe. Nearly a year ago he lost his job. He has his MBA and hasn't been able to land an interview. If I think about it too much, I would rather stay in bed than have to deal with the fear of uncertainty.

    But I get up, we are surviving, we are provided for. I have learned there are a lot worse things that can happen then your biggest nightmare. It's perception and not letting fear immobilize you.

    Tomorrow will be better, the sun will shine, all will be well. Just keep moving towards your dreams no matter what obstacle lies before you. Often times, we find ways to get around them; and sometimes, a better, unexpected path is presented that we should follow. :)

  4. Aw, I feel your stress, disappointment and uncertainty! I had big plans for myself. HUGE plans! And in 3 weeks I turn 30, but... I don't feel like I have hardly anything to show for it (except my health and my family, and when push comes to shove, they are what matter most). But those dreams... hard to watch the years pass and wonder if they will ever come to fruition.

    All I can say is don't let time get you down. 25 might not feel so young anymore, but it really is, and you have so much of your life ahead of you to do what you love and what makes you happy. And if going back to school is intimidating, start with what you love first. Take a class or two a semester, and see how you like it, and go from there. I spent an entire semester taking only classes that I LOVED, whether I needed them for credit or not, just because I knew I might not get another chance later in life (and it was Jr. College - waaaay cheaper than Uni!). So glad I did!

    And ya know, perhaps 500 people will be losing their jobs next year, but also, maybe not. When one door closes, another door opens. All you can do it follow your heart!

    Good luck, Stephanie! And don't forget to wave those muppet arms. :D That always makes me laugh.

  5. Oh, I so agree about picking majors too early. I changed mine a lot and almost took an extra year to graduate because the classes I wanted to take were outside of the scope of my major.

    An article in Forbes said, "This day and age, twenty six is the new eighteen." haha - so fitting.

    I’m giving you the Stylish Blogger Award!