I sit here today pondering my own academic future.
If you were to ask me two years ago, or even a year, where I wanted to be in the next 5 years, I might tell you “Zurich” or “Boston”, “Buenos Aires” or “Oslo”. I imagined myself OUT OF HERE. Here meaning Montana. Montana has always seemed backwater, repetitive, unenthusiastic about change or the now or anything that really means progress. It stank like a swamp and stuck to you like a tar pit, suffocating your ambitions.
So I thought.
It has been two years, 6 months of therapy, several journals, blogs, and Word documents for me to realize something: I love Montana. I love her streams, her mountains, her reckless weather and the way that things here cling to the dry and somewhat harsh landscape with tenacity. I love the people that come here and see something and let me see this place through their lens, because it heals me.
As I think about what I’m going to do, I am still unsure. However, it just might involve Montana. If you were to ask me at any other point in my life if that was failing, I would dramatically fall to my knees and say, “YES! The ultimate failure! To end up HERE!”
However, I have been more content with myself, who I am and what I want, in the last two years here, than I ever have been before. Something about Montana is healing me slowly. I am being taught patience and risks, how to work and realize that being uptight all the time isn’t right. That if I am happy, in whatever shade of happiness I am experiencing, it’s not because I’m copping out of a “better” future elsewhere. It’s not because Montana is failure, something I’ve always thought the two together were.
Besides, I am only 22. I have my whole life to leave and come back and go and venture and do what I want. For now, I think the roots I have planted here, though thin, are holding on. Even if the past me would have taken a match and burned all of my notions of remaining to the ground, I want to tell her to hush and just breathe. Because here, it is possible to do that and not feel stifled by anything else but yourself.