para qué

So far, my life feels like it’s been made up of little, temporary decisions. A school for four years, a country for three months, a rental house for nine months, a drink for the moment… The only life-long lasting things I’ve chosen thus far are my friends, and that was almost all completely by accident.

Now, everywhere I go people are asking “what’s next?” where are you going, for what, what are you doing, with who, and how is this going to play into…the rest of your life?

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I feel limited. I don’t know why people think i’m ready to make a decision that involves me working somewhere indefinitely, living somewhere that could potentially be the place i “end up.” I’ve made decisions about jobs, internships, a bachelors degree, but it all felt temporary to me. Decisions that all seemed to be leading up to something else. Then before I saw it coming, i’m sitting here trying to figure out what all of those decisions and actions has led me to…because i’m still in the same place. Trying to figure out where I want to live when there are countless cities and countries i still haven’t seen, trying to figure out where to go next, what to do, when my passions and interests expand daily. I want someone to tell me that it’s alright that it’s taken me this long to leave when i’ve been wanting it for a while, and for someone to tell me that the next decision i make won’t close any doors, and determine the city i’ll live in, permanently for several more years.

Although my anxiety has always spanned much further than i have the capability to see with my own eyes, my plans have felt temporary, always. I plan trips months before they happen and don’t look much further. I worry about things i have no control over but the idea that i have to make a decision that will potentially determine what i can do for the rest of m life just scares the shit out of me.

But, thinking like this kind of makes me feel like an unappreciative brat. Like, countless people have supported me in my “temporary” dreams, my three months in other countries, three weeks in other states, and random dreams that pop up daily. People have met with me in other cities and countries simply to try and help me with this big decision and here i am complaining when i actually have a choice. I feel like i should “check my privilege,” before i go off complaining about the fact that I have had all of these awesome short-term opportunities. The ones that are leading me to other places and people, although that place is still unclear, i feel like my feet are still moving, in some direction anyway.

I haven’t shut any doors and I don’t have to let any decision get in the way of where I want to go next. I have the opportunity to work for whatever I want, and i have the chance to go places without anyone or anything holding me back. 22 seems young, but maybe that’s the best part about it. So we take a bunch of chances and make some mistakes, just because we’re not students anymore doesn’t mean we have to go out there and act like everything we do is perfect and like everything we do will be what we do for the rest of our lives. I guess i miss this a lot. After one has been in school constantly since the age of 4, it’s hard to understand what the world even means without a structured educational system determining every year, forcing you to live by the measurement of a semester and tuition amount. So i have more than $35,000 of student debt…. i still have the whole world to see. That seems like a bright enough side for me to temporarily see…

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I have often been asked if Grand Rapids is my home and if I think that I will “end up” here.

Well, I don’t know, about either of those questions. I grew up here but I have always felt misplaced. Even as a child I felt only excited and in awe of other places and the possibilities that lie a plane ride away (or more). When I’m there I feel different, better, but I always know that it’s temporary, that I’ll leave soon. Now, I am at a place in my life where I have to choose, where do I want to spend the next three months/year/several years of my life. Which city, state, country do I want to live in and what do I want to do?

So, I’ve been working on a plan, a solid answer to something that will stump people the way they’ve stumped me with this question. What will I do when I graduate, in full avoidance of the phrase “I don’t know”.

Enjoy serendipitous happiness in another city, immerse myself in new cultures and food, dance with new people under bluer skies, with less stars, or more. I’ll embrace different perspectives and conversation about travel to new countries. I want to see mountains and bodies of water surrounding me, hike new trails, build new fires, fall in love, every millisecond, with the beauty surrounding me. It’ll be unfamiliar and that’s what I’ll probably like the most about it. I guess I’ll do the things that I enjoy…without limiting myself to that one job or career, because my interests and amazements will likely expand with every new mountain i climb, every new hand i shake and every new soul i dance with.

It’s pretty scary, to be 21 and realize that my whole life my thoughts were consumed with the idea of a successful career in the future, “when I grew up,” a career in writing I always imagined. But now, i’ve realize it’s less about a career and more about seeing the world. In an effort to figure out what I wanted to do I was given the opportunity to travel, and fell in love with it. So for me, it’s about being inspired with what’s around me, it’s about seeing the world. Talking to strangers about familiar topics, connecting with new people and strengthening those bonds even when we’re apart. It’s not about what happens between 9am-5pm, it’s about what that has led me to, the open-minded outlook to continue on into unfamiliar territory, not knowing what to do next but going blindly anyway. It’s about new laughs and familiar smiles in a new geographical area. New connections with old friends, and nostalgia.

It’s about the stressful plane rides that bring me to bright blue water and big cities in the middle of the night, it’s about finding new love, raw, organic, unexpected, but welcomed love. Love for a physical place and passion for how I got there. It’s really about the love for something intangible. No matter how much money I spend on plane tickets and trips to see new places, the experience remains priceless. The friendships, the new feelings, the memories all become intangible. Something no currency in the world could afford because it’s a part of your soul. A smile and painful nostalgia your soul longs for every second and learns to enjoy in the moment. It’s running down brick roads in Europe and through fields, laughing so hard and not being able to stop, it’s about long hugs goodbye, anticipatory trips and the ineffably good feeling brought by seeing someone again.

I feel lost a lot too though, normally when I return from a trip I get really stuck in the memories. I feel a little empty and like I have nothing to my name except for memories, which often times is partly true because I am often pretty broke after a good trip. But, I remember that the world is constantly spinning and so it should force me to always be moving forward, It’s moving in one direction and I really can’t go back. I have to move forward, even if that means returning to an old place, my feet are still constantly moving. There are always new memories to be created and new passions to be ignited, and there are always new dances to be had.

People talk about our generation as if we don’t know how to appreciate the moment and the traditional way things were done because we want to do it our way. Maybe because we saw our parents giving up dreams for a mortgage and giving up opportunities for…us. Maybe we’re a little selfish in the aspect that we’re young, we want to feel it all instead of ending it for a real job and a boring suburb. We want to keep the uncertainty for a little longer and help make the world a better place, because we don’t know what will happen next. It’s not about the money, it’s about how we can make it by without letting our world revolve around the worries of it.

Sometimes we have trouble putting our smart phones down but we know how to enjoy the moment in front of us, the natural beauty surrounding us and we know how to appreciate what our friends and family do, the role that we all play in each other’s journey. I’m not speaking for everyone but i can speak for myself, some of us want more than money and big houses and a college education. We want a wordily experience, knowledge obtained through our own mistakes that turns into wisdom, hostel stays, concert tickets, a year abroad, photos, maps, we want real experiences.

Maybe someday I’ll learn how to tame my crazy adventurous soul enough to be content with one physical place and if so i want to be surrounded by mountains and water and other crazy souls that dance and inspire the rest of the universe to continue wandering.

Like Paul Theroux, “I sought trains; I found passengers.”

ya know what’s weird?

That nobody ever wants to see you alone.

They’re like, “I really want to see you end up with someone who’s good for you.” and, “are you sure okay?”

It’s hard to understand that some of us would rather be alone than pretend to be okay with going on dates with people who we feel no connection and ease with. It’s fine that some people love that shit, that people swipe through tinder for hours and want to try and try and try until they finally get it right with someone, but for me that is not special.

It’s like, I want raw, un-foreseen connection. Something you didn’t see coming but only felt, and you felt it so hard before anything ever happened. And if i don’t, then i am so more than okay with being alone, and I don’t want to hear people say “dude you’re going to be alone forever,” just because i’m 21 and I don’t like every single guy I hang out with 3 or 4 times, or because I get scared away by how pushy some guys are and how much they want to talk about their feelings with me when I barely know what color their eyes are because I haven’t cared to look directly into them.

Most people i know are a little older, and are looking for something, solid. They’re out searching for the next person they’re going to try with. Or, they’re gay, and they’re constantly going on dates with people, they’re on dates with more people than I think I’ve ever met. But, I mean that’s their thing. I guess my issue with this is that, well it’s not my thing. My thing is constantly being busy so that when I’m finally alone and have nothing to do, it feels good. My thing is traveling to see the people that I care about most because they have all been strategically placed in locations just far enough away from me to make me develop different relationships, ones that I can maintain everyday but in a way that’s natural.

we’re not alone, we just choose who we want to be with.

PDT

i feel down. un-moved and not amazed, stagnant again. in one place, seeing it all again and again. my feet stomping old ground and unable to be moved by the mundane feeling and indifference.

i want to go back. be amazed. look in awe at everything around me. feel something, feel a lot. feel moved and be moved, move, and keep moving. i want to feel so much serendipitous love for people i appreciate so much because i have so much with people i’ve only known for a year, in which case i’ve spent most of it apart from them. love in a different way, in a caring and like i’d go anywhere in the world to see them and eat and drink with them, to dance with them, to laugh with them, to hug them and to leave agin.

and it’s so painful, every time i leave. every time we part, but i still want to go back. endure all the pain for so much love, eve for only a short period of time.

people you’d travel the world with, you often travel the world to see, i guess.

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I know what I want – or do I?

Lately, it’s been hard to make up my mind. It might be that I realize there are so many opportunities out there and that, as always, I want to do various different things that barely relate to each other. I have a lot of great friends and I am at the beginning of what I feel is going to be a great next few years and they’re only going to get better as I advance in age… I am not worried about getting older, I am only worried about losing time.

I am worried about not pursuing this idea because I feel like it could help hundreds of people and quite frankly I want to pursue it before anyone else does. I am worried about missing a job opportunity that I know I want more than most people and that frankly I know I am qualified. I am worried about not traveling and moving to bigger cities while I am young and have no strings attached, because what I really want to do is hop on every plane going somewhere I have ever thought of visiting. I want to see people and things that are new to me, things that will enlighten me and will spark more interests. I want to share those stories and THAT is truly my dream.

Everything from here on out is preparing me for what i do next, i think that’s pretty cool. So although sometimes I’m bored it’s cool cuz everything is leading up to the next cool thing i’ll do.

that’s alright, i guess

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Things are happening

It feels weird when things actually start to happen. The things you’ve been dreaming about for a while and then get closer and closer and then they’re and then they’re gone.

I leave for Montreal in less than a week and I’ll see some of my best friends whom I met studying abroad in Spain, another occurrence in which I heavily anticipated it and then it was…over. All at once and not at all.

I am beyond excited and ecstatic to see my friends but beside that i am just happy to be adventuring again. Not many people really like to be on the move as much as me, I feel connected when I am connected to many different people on many different levels. I like being elsewhere and remembering the people back here, or the people over there. We are all the same and yet so different and for this I am constantly amazed, and grateful that I am able to explore and witness it all.

I have meetings with agencies on my adventuring as well, things that may turn into potential jobs which is just another crazy occurrence in life in which I will anticipate it and it will be here before I even could grasp it, kind of how the summer came and went.

so things are happening, all the time every moment an occurrence you anticipated is happening and slowly slipping throw your fingers until it is over. That is the best and worst part, that things are always happening.

peace**yawn

no estoy segura

de nada. Estoy confundida. No se que quiero en la vida ahora. Quiero la aventura y los viajes y las personas interesantes, pero es difícil que estar en un lugar o con una persona, porque quiero muchísimas cosas, no en una manera materialista, pero en una manera que significa que necesito ver el mundo. Necesito ver los paisajes en el sol y las montañas, los niños y la gente nativa y sus vidas. Necesito escribir sobre estas personas y pasar sus historias. Mi trabajo, me siento que, es para decir toda la gente que no sabe, que esta aquí pero es un poco escondido…

what is

wanting to be alone? a lot. wanting to not be with anyone in a way that is… “commitment.”

What does that even mean? I feel like people have expectations for me that I’m not okay with, that people expect me to just do things…normally, and I don’t want to.

I like surprising people, and being different, and not following the crowd. But, above anything else I enjoy doing what I like – and that could be whatever. It changes every moment, every second, every time I inhale and exhale between those two actions it could change. It changes fast and sometimes slow, sometimes all at once and sometimes it takes a while, but yanno, i like change.

I like being alone and changing constantly and not having anyone to answer to. Everyone says i won’t be saying this in a few years, but i don’t fucking care, i feel it now. so really who cares about a couple years later? It’s now *