Update from a twenty-something

Listen to the song "twenty-something" by Jamie Cullum. It's hilarious. It is an accurate description of where my life is at right now. Here I am, a twenty-something, living in New York City, trying to get my life together, to get it all figured out.

I don't want to over-analyze anything. I just want to speak honestly...to share my life, my thoughts from the past couple of months.
I returned from India almost 2 months ago. If you know where your life is going and you have a sense of direction, then don't travel, volunteer or go to a place like India. It will only change the entire course of your life... at least that's what happened for me (alright, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic...but seriously, leaving the U.S. tends to do that to you). I left hopeful that I would return a changed human being with an even furthered sense of direction in my life. I did return a changed human being, yet more confused then ever before.
I saw things and heard things I had never dreamed I would see or hear in my lifetime. I met so many amazing, inspiring, beautiful souls. There were moments when I was on overload...overwhelmed that I was experiencing so much in such a short amount of time. In these situations, only your fellow travel companions or those you meet along the road can truly understand your state of mind. Returning to the United States though, can be a really lonely experience.

After returning from traveling the world or volunteering internationally, I highly recommend taking some time OFF if possible. I don't recommend doing anything crazy...like moving across the country for one thing. If you are starting school again, then make sure you have a little time to process in between. I think part of my problem is that almost as soon as I returned from India, I wanted to go back. I started freaking out...what am I doing going straight back into school again?? Why didn't I just do the Peace Corps or something overseas-related? What am I doing with my life? Why am I moving to the most expensive city in the country? For me, I think the hardest part of wrestling through these questions is feeling alone. Feeling like everyone else around me has a purpose and has got it all together. But the more I talk to people, the more I am realizing that this couldn't be further from the truth. Nobody has it figured out.

Where does that leave me? Well, after an insane two months...I just decided to slow my life down a little bit. Lighten the class load, and learn how to budget my time and my money better. Go for runs in the mornings, read in coffee shops. But most importantly just having the time to think and to wrestle with life and to appreciate the people around me. Often I get panicked...like somehow I am falling behind...like i need to get things figured out. But I think I am realizing more and more every day, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with slowing things down, with learning how to be patient. It may sound counter-cultural, but I am a firm believer in the fact that as long as you are alive, there is always more time left. A Mary Oliver quote that I found posted on a friend's facebook status says, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" For now this is my plan. I may go insane. But hopefully at the end of it, there will be self-discovery. Maybe not. But if so, I will keep you posted. :)
photo of NY by me.


Elizabeth said...

I love reading your posts and getting updates about your life. I wanna hear your voice soon OKAY? I miss you and I love you!!!!!


loreneduffyiwertz said...

Oooh! Running and reading in coffee shops sounds like the perfect time "off"... I think I'll need to work that into my routine!