The idea of finding myself has come up more and more often as I spend more time here. Being separated from my friends, family and the place I’ve grown up has left me to decide completely for myself who I am. Bolded “I.” Not what I like, who I hang out with, what I do, what music I listen to or what food I eat. I am in an environment where I am doing & trying things I’ve never done or thought to do thus far in my life, and based on those experiences (and those surely to come) I have slowly been figuring out “me.” Hopefully this is something I will be doing my entire life, long after I leave this wonderful place. I never want to be stagnant. I have been trying to figure out why I wanted to leave my hometown so badly to come to some place completely different, and I think that was it. Not that I don’t have the opportunity to grow in Mississippi, just that I wasn’t taking advantage of everything I had there. Coming here and meeting new people and trying so different things has forced me to “wake up” in a way. I feel like I have this renewed passion for learning and growing as a person that I had lost somewhere along the line back home.
A week ago or so when I meant to write this post I was feeling extremely uneasy about myself, this study abroad experience and my future. Had I made the right choice? Am I EVER going to get a job? A lot of my fellow study abroads seem like they have it completely together (having jobs, internships, goals life plans, etc.) and in comparison I feel like a child. I consider myself an extremely motivated and dedicated person, but I have nowhere to direct that motivation and direction. I still don’t (not that I expected to completely figure out my life in a week and a half). However, last week, in the midst of all this stress, I got an invite to be a part of the honors program my school is starting. I’m in the Honor’s College at my university, and I have definitely felt sort of bored and unchallenged in my classes, so I figured I’d give it a try. Before I even knew what it was really about, earlier in the day of the meeting, I was thinking about the possibility of being serious about photography (or something in the arts in general), and it just turns out that that is exactly what our honors program centers around this semester. Now, I’m not saying I’m about to drop everything (my major in particular) and become a photographer or an artist, but I did feel like I was exactly where I was supposed to be in this moment. Perhaps, if I love working with this photographer this semester, I will decide to spend more of my energy on that. Maybe nothing will come of it. I don’t know what is to come of me or my future at this moment. But I hope to figure it out. Hell, anything can happen in a year. Most of all, I hope to never lose this craving to become something more than I am. If I bring nothing back (other than the ability to roll killer cigarettes, check!) but that, this year will have been a success.