Mind Wandering Wednesday: Oh, the places I can go…

Thank goodness for Wednesday; a post devoted to the wanderings of my mind…it’s apparently still on Spring Break and I need somewhere to vent / gather my thoughts.

A scary thing has happened since I traveled abroad for the first time about 5 months ago…my eyes have been opened to how much world there is out there! Places like France weren’t ever that real for me, they were the places in the fairy tales, where everyone else would visit but why would I? America is where I was born, where I vacation, where I study, grow up and where I would remain forever because that’s just what people from rural Kentucky do… Now that I have been blessed with opportunities to travel and see the world (thanks in large part to being a student, getting paid to do research), I can’t seem to reel my mind in. I am constantly thinking of the many directions my life could go, not only in location but in career choices, traveling, etc. And honestly, as I said, I am scared.

I am a planner. I mean a crazy one. I probably make 10 to-do-lists per day, even if they all say the same thing. There is nothing quite like checking something off of a list. It means it is gone, finished, another thing I don’t have to worry about and for a brief moment, I don’t allow myself to consider the 5 things that will take the place of the one I just checked-off. Needless to say, my life is kind of one big to do list and until graduate school I had everything planned out nicely. do well in high school (in Kentucky), do well in college (in Kentucky), get into graduate school (a specific one) for something that seems interesting (my supposed “dream” career path).

Now, I keep thinking of how much world there is out there for me to see. Experiences for me to experience, people to meet and I get a little sad knowing that I won’t get to do everything on the bucket list in my head. That also makes me realize how short life is and why shouldn’t I get to do cool stuff? I guess I just need to be careful not to get carried away. I want to have memorable experiences now, while I am able, ones that I can look back on and be proud I did, even if they are risky (in terms of veering off of my carefully planned path) but I also want to be reasonable and respect the hard work that I have done to get to where I am. I will earn my Masters by December of this year and then be on my way to a PhD, if I choose but where, when, how and topic are to be decided, in this new mindset of mine. Before my journey to Europe I decided that I was content to stay in my current situation and go through the motions until this stage of my life was “complete” and now I see opportunity where there wasn’t before and I want to consider taking it, going for something that may be scary, unknown and uncertain, and risk failure (or overwhelming success) on MY terms.

Oh the places I can go 😉

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