Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yellow Brick Road

Do you ever feel like your life is not what or where you want it to be. Like at some point, you were on the yellow brick road, headed toward the Great Wizard, but somehow the directions got muddled, north became south, yellow became red and you are just really not sure where you are, or where the yellow brick road walked off to? I don't want to sound ungrateful or sound as if my life isn't full of blessings everyday, but sometimes I just feel so lost and I don't even know where I should go to get unlost.
High School was such a whirlwind, my direction was clear, and my life was spectacular. I had wonderful friends, I was using my creativity and my physicality. I volunteered and participated in many organizations. I knew what I wanted at least short-term wise. My goal was to make good grades and good impressions for colleges. We all seemed to be on the same road, heading the same place. It was an easy decision, going to college. The process of picking a college added fog to the scenery, but I could definitely see where I was headed. I knew kind of what I wanted. I wanted a small school with an outstanding academic standing, I wanted to feel challenged and positioned for my future. After many complications, I went to Texas Tech, but found myself unhappy and fighting against the wind. Before I left, however, I discovered the major that fit my personality and allowed me to continue on my unknown path. I was thrilled when I found the major for those who don't know what they want to do, but love people and creativity as much as myself. I had found the perfect door, the door that didn't force me into making any immediate decisions and cementing my life, instead a door to the unknown held much more promise. It gave me more time to procrastinate and figure out what I want to do with my life.

So these are the things I have discovered want in a job;

I want to enjoy my co-workers
I want freedom to choose my own schedule,
I want a challenging position to constantly stimulate my mind
I want to be creative.
I want to be interacting with people
Of course there are many other qualities I was looking for in a job, but those are the main objectives.

What do I want out of life?

These are things that I want from my life.
1. I want financial freedom
2. I want to travel
3. I want to make a difference in the world and in other people.
4. I want to feel I have made a mark on the world
5. I never want to stop learning and growing
6. I want to be surrounded by friends and family, people who love me, and whom I love

But then the next question is, "Can you be more specific?", like, what kind of difference do you want to make? Is it enough to make your mark on the world through being a good friend, or do you need more? What will be enough? "And how do I get there?" And then to furthur complicate matters I have to match these goals at the exact same time with the person I have agreed to spend the rest of my life with. My life does not just affect me, but also my husband. I cannot just up and join the Peace Corps and leave him to finish school. Our lives are bound together and somehow we must find a way to move forward with our legs tied together in a three-legged race. I feel as if I am at a threshold in my life, a waiting room, but I am tired of treading water, I am tired of not knowing what direction I should face to get to where I want. I have this since of urgency, a figure on my shoulder, whispering in my ear that if I don’t start running now, I may never get out.

My life has had many adventures and blessings such as Disney World and Italy, but they were just another way to procrastinate making a decision. College is an amazing tool, to challenge commonly held thoughts, open ones mind to new and sometimes disturbing ideas. It is an environment that fosters inner growth, and involvement in the world. But what it doesn't teach is what to do once you are out of your fantasy world, the world I have been trained in for 19 years of my life. I know how to listen to a teacher, take notes, study, make a fantastic project, and take tests. I know how to make friends in classes and then find activities where our lives and personalities will bond. However, I can no longer turn to the University to be my social and volunteer outlet. I have been thrown out of my home with a swift kick and left to find my own way in the world without the assistance and support I have always known. (I should say at this moment, that my mom has continually been with me, and support me throughout these difficult times. I am so lucky to have her and the rest of my family and friends, for without them, I would really have something to complain about. My problems would only multiply. So thank you, all of you.) After I left school, the following things were taken from me, friends, social network, inspiration, ambitious competition, involvement in the world, and my innocence. What I was given with my diploma was more responsibility, rent, bills, and an opportunity to sell my soul to jobs that will overwork, underpay and ultimately make me unhappy.
When my job does not foster daily interaction and friendships, where do I turn? I have been looking at Austin clubs online for an outlet to make friends and do something with myself, but will we (Kyle and I) really make friends there or just acquaintances. Will it be incredibly awkward and forced or does it really have potential to start to fill the hole in my heart. I have lots of friends in town, but it is hard to keep up and get together when I don’t see them on a daily basis. Friendship then requires making a huge effort and often schedules get in the way. How many dinner plans have I rearranged? It isn't that we don't care, or don't want to see each other, but life gets in the way.

So lets get back to the yellow brick road. I was traveling along this road, and I got to college, which was not only on the way but had a marker. However, at that point decisions had to be made, life-altering decisions and the yellow brick road didn't seem so yellow anymore, as if the paint was chipping off, the paint chips flying through the wind and sprinkling the grass and trees with the course of my confusing future, and the direction could be any which ways. Don't be deceived however, I have chosen the way through the unknown. I could have chosen the path which other college students take, graduate, find a corporation, and work my way up through groveling and time, but I made the decision that I wanted more. My yellow brick road could have been easy, but it wouldn't have actually led me to the Great Wizard. Life's joys are much more difficult to find, I have faith that I will find them again. The question is, though, will this new "yellow road" take me there? And whether or not I can answer the next question determines whether I will get there. What is the Great Wizard of Oz to me? That is the question we all have to answer for ourselves, but who can answer that question and when we reach it, will we know it?


Xeared said...

Nessa, I really dont think in life we will ever find exactly what we want in life. There will only be what we need (money) and what is there (boyfriends perhaps). I completly agree with you on this one. People at the age of 50 still dont know what they want to do when the "grow up" and i think what we have to do is continue living our lives with what makes us happy at that moment. Carpe Diem. Its hard to do because we have to still go to jobs that we hate and come home and pay rent and bills that we hate doing, but its a part of living. Love you and miss you guys!

Aaron and Laura said...

I never got to read this post...but I love it! It reminds me of what my irritation was after graduating college. I wanted a job that defined me. However, what I found was a wife and a lifestyle that does. My job, fortunately for now anyways, is just a means to help with the financial hardships to support what does define me.

Let’s get together for dinner after Laura’s final (12/10). Otherwise, let’s get together before you head out to the wild blue yonder

Ann Marie C. said...

Hey Vanessa! Sounds like a lot has gone on since I left Texas! But now I'm back. I totally agree with you about how hard it is to find social support. It could be because you need a good church to fill in the gaps. Mine right now is just amazing. I left it 4 years ago, and now I'm back and truly appreciate it for what it is now. Good luck in S. Korea, and you are a lovely writer!