This post has been sitting pretty in my drafts for two straight months. I can’t say that I am any more ready or understanding of the topic, but I can say that the past month has thrown me into a whole new world (“a dazzling place I never knew!”), and I am learning something new every day. Upon graduating in May, I can honestly say I had no clue what I was going to do. Obviously I’ve talked about graduate school before, but even in May I hadn’t yet received my clear admission.
Since then, I’ve gotten the clear, but I can’t say that my mind has gotten the same. I still don’t think I know what I want to do with my life. Yikes! It scares me to say that out loud, especially when I know I’ll be paying twenty thousand big bucks for another degree (double yikes…). I think that one thing has become more clear in my mind, though, and I wish I could say it doesn’t scare me, but it does. It also excites me, and intrigues me, and sometimes confuses me, but mostly it helps me understand why I still don’t truly know what I’m meant to be doing. I think I just want to try everything. Until the past few weeks, however, I didn’t really know what everything was. But then I realized that I want to be a birthing doula. I also am in love with my contracting desk job! Who knew! I also want to write a book. Maybe fiction; possibly even poetry! I want to be a musical manager. True to my bookish self, (and thanks to my entrepreneur dad), I want to open a coffee shop/bookstore. I want to do it all, and I really mean it all!
I know that I really need to take one bite at a time rather than taking it all in at once, but graduating and realizing what all I can really do with my degree has given me such a sense of freedom. I can make my own decisions; I can stay up until one in the morning, or I can go to bed at eight (guilty). I can drink as much Starbucks coffee as I want, even though my budget tells me otherwise. I can work out when I want to, and I can read what I want to, and I can truly be whatever I want to be.
With all of these new-found freedoms, however, came about a million new responsibilities. I am financially independent for the first time in my life. Thankfully, I am still under a rent-free roof (graduate school is literally taking every penny I make at my new job, plus I’m paying off my undergrad loans immediately. Can I get a “triple-yikes”? However, I literally have to watch every. Damn. Penny. I wish I had worked at living on a budget more seriously through the last four years, but I didn’t. I won’t look back and regret so much, though, because the time is now. I have to learn as I go along. I’m sure I’ll make a number of mistakes, and I’ll learn from every one. It’s scary, I’ll tell you that much. I am an adult. There’s no more putting it off and saying I’m not quite there. I am there, and I really need to embrace it and learn as much as I can.
I have two awesome parents who are mentoring me through it, as well as my older man (thanks, Z!), but this is also a new chapter that I really need to author – on my own. No editors here. This is a me and me alone kind of thing. My next chapter will more than likely include the addition of a “fiancé” or “husband”, and when the time comes, I’ll embrace that too. Until then, I am Rachael. I am a recent college grad. I am a contract administrator for a local company. I am a master’s degree candidate. I am a creative, open-minded young woman who is creating her path. Right now, that path has about fifteen tentacles rolling off each side, and I plan to traipse down each and every one of them. I may be forty-five when I get to the end of this particular path, but I’ll also be starting (and ending) others at the same time.
If I don’t start to try it all now, when will I?