A Future Dichotomy

Since the day I have had enough cognitive ability to answer the question, everyone has been asking what I want to be when I grow up.  This happens to everyone.  As Americans, our focus is never on the present; we are constantly thinking about what could and will be.  My answer to this question has changed and continues to change about eery 5 minutes.  If you would have asked me in second grade, I would’ve said a professional soccer player because I loved wearing shin guards even when I wasn’t playing.  Ask my 14 year old self, and I would have said an architect because we were remodeling our house and I loved helping my mom design it.  Then comes senior year of high school.  The pressure of the whole world is on every senior because suddenly they won’t be going back to school in September, and that’s the only thing they’ve ever known.  The world is wide open and if you don’t make the right decision now, you’re going to screw up your whole life.  At least that’s what my nightmares told me. 

I spent my entire college career living in that nightmare.  Except it wasn’t a nightmare anymore! My world was and is literally wide open!  I can do anything I want!  What was once overwhelming is now a dream come true.  I have all these passions: faith, community, music, poverty, the world, social justice.  Even in this short time I have spent as an AmeriCorps VISTA, I have learned that a job cannot keep me pigeonholed into just one of these passions. 

My problem now is this battle I have within my head and heart – live out this ‘white picket fence’, 6 figure salary, 4 kids and a gorgeous husband American dream, or forget all that and live in a grass hut in the middle of Sub-Saharan Africa.  My current plan after VISTA is the latter.  But I’ve got my entire life ahead of me to try to merge the two.

Not all those who wander are lost. 🙂

Jen

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