I remember moving out of my dorm in Chestnut Hill, MA and saying goodbye to the school I’d grown accustomed to for the past four years. I was somewhat anxious about the uncertainty of life after college, but for the most part, eager to start a brand new chapter as a fresh-faced recent graduate. Despite having nothing set in stone, other than a summer internship, I had a good idea of the kind of career that I wanted to pursue. I knew I wanted to achieve certain goals. And I knew the life I wanted to lead.
But of course, things don’t always go according to plan.
Fast forward to a year from graduation, May 2016: I’m sitting inside a Coach bus during rush hour, eager to escape the madness of New York City, and wondering what the heck I’m doing in a job that I am grateful for but miserable about at the same time (Read more about my own story HERE.)
Months later, I quit my 9-5 job to confidently begin my gap year (which is actually supposed to be a half gap-year) and I decide to focus on taking online courses to acquire new skills. The goal is to learn, make time for travel, and find a full-time job shortly after that. I’m happy and re-energized in the beginning—but quickly become discouraged about where I am in life and what I’ve accomplished. Once again, I’m unsure what to make of my education, skills, and experiences. I face the fact that don’t know my “life’s purpose”/what I’m passionate about in life and assume that I never will.
But time passes, and I begin to see a silver lining to the anxious and stressful moments that characterized this past year. Things eventually get better over time. Even though I still break down from time to time, I grow a thicker skin. I understand that it’s ok to feel like crap sometimes. I turn to people in my life instead of myself when the going gets tough. I give up and then I pick myself back up again. I learn that the things I’ve been avoiding are the things I need to tackle head-on. And sometimes I have to hit rock bottom to realize there’s no real way out but to keep going.
Turns out, the confusion brings with it some semblance of clarity. It’s just that sometimes, you need time—perhaps a lot of time—to finally see it.