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.
Sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees, as it were. It takes quiet and reflection to see what is on one’s doorstep in a different perspective. I always wanted to move on, the grass is always greener but no necessarily so. As you say you are young and have the whole world ahead of you, you have time to reflect on what you want and where you want to go or stay. Good luck!