When I was younger, I used to play this game where I would look at people passing by in their cars and make up imaginary lives for them. “This guy looks like he’s in a hurry; probably an important business man on his way to a meeting.” “This girl looks upset, maybe she just got the news that she has an incurable cancer.” I had a desire to understand everyone I came across on a deeper, more personal level.

Now I’m 22 years old and I still wonder. I log onto facebook and see my 600+ “friends” and their lives through status updates, pictures, shared articles, etc.. I see the lives they’ve crafted through the things they’ve decided is worth it and appropriate to share. But I still can’t help but wonder what is really going on with them; what’s happening in their lives that they’re choosing not to share.

I’m in a weird place right now. I just graduated and have found myself plopped in Colorado surrounded by new people, new jobs, and a new confusion I haven’t really felt. For the first time in my life, I feel like I don’t have much of a direction. I’m torn between pursuing a job in my field, making enough money to live a life of luxury, or continuing on with my passion for animals and nature. I think the only thing that will make me happy will be working with animals, but I don’t want to find myself in a position where I’m 40 years old and scraping by on $30k a year (no offense if that’s you, that’s just not where I want to be.)

When I think of what makes me happy, I think of working in the jungles of Africa, studying primates, tracking their lives through journals and photography. But is that really a feasible existence? Or if I pursue something like that, will I just find myself in the jungle with the same existential crisis I’ve been feeling since I’ve been pushed into the “real world?”

Either way, I feel lost, and I wonder if others do too.

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5 Comments

  1. Sweet Caroline,
    Your thoughts are beautifully expressed… I am wondering if you have to necessarily choose between your major, degree, vs passion? Have you considered exploring a mission, internship or apprenticeship to Africa or other destination whereby you can actualize your dream job for 6, 12,18 months? During this time new career /-lifestyle opportunities or ideas may arise that embrace your passion + education. You could return with a new perspective. You will always utilize your education on some level no matter what you pursue.
    I have a childhood friend in South Fl who is a veterinarian.
    He is a few years younger than me but has a successful practice there. He owns a horse too…
    He is on.fb alot. Im wondering if he could be of asst on some level and if there are any opportunities that might bridge your interests degree and educations in his area….
    Call me if you want to talk…anytime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mrs. Ellsweig! Thank you so much for you kind response. Funny enough, today I actually sat down for about an hour and was researching internships/jobs in Africa. But you do make a good point- I don’t necessarily have to choose between passion/education/money. I’m just feeling like I’m in a rut lately trying to figure out exactly how I can monetize something I enjoy. Thanks again so much for reaching out- if you ever come out here for a ski vacation let me know! I can get you discounted lift tickets :). Hope all is well!

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  2. Hi Caroline, this is Alicia Peach from high school! I totally understand the boat you are in and reading this made me feel so much better about my own “existential crisis” haha 🙂 I hope you write more blog posts because I’d love to read them…and I think you’ve even inspired me to start my own blog again!

    Like

    1. Hi Alicia! So good to hear from you! I’m glad I made you feel better, I was hoping it would resonate with someone because it’s so easy to feel like you’re going through shit alone when everything you see is the highlights of people’s lives. I’m definitely going to write more and you should TOTALLY start a blog, I’d love to read it! Miss you girl, hope all is well ❤

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