Yesterday as I was getting my feast on at my practicum’s Thanksgiving Potluck, the topic of ages came up. I was about knee deep in turkey, the Saudi Arabian national dish and some kind of Japanese pork pancake thing (ah-MAZE), but I still tuned in to the conversation.
One woman, who looks super young, asked how old another teacher was. When they said the teacher’s age, she mumbled, “Damnit. Everyone’s younger than me.”
When two other teachers revealed themselves to be 26, I piped in, saying that I’m 26 too.
One of the teachers goes “Really? I thought you were younger than that.”
Thinking about how that comment made me feel still gives me chills. It was so generous.
I can’t quite remember when it began to happen, but I’m getting to the point where I’m not being ID’d for things anymore. On the one hand, it’s useful (because sometimes my ID is in my other purse). On the other, it’s like……..”so what are you trying to say?”
Which, I said all of that to say,
I don’t like being 26.
My mind doesn’t know where to put it. People are still like “oh, you’re still so young,” but I’m starting to feel the pressure of time. Not that I ever didn’t feel it, bit there was a time when I could tell myself “it’s not a big deal. I’m still really young.”
Now, though, I mean……I’m still young……but I’m not really young enough to use youth as an excuse. And I feel like I’m at the age where I really need to start establishing what type of life I want for myself and moving toward that life in a tangible way.
I’ve been doing a lot of Self searching lately because I’m coming to the end of my degree and I’m kind of at a fork in the road in terms of paths, and I’ve got to choose which path to take. I’m pretty sure I’ve made my decision. It’s been hard because at 26 I’m starting to feel like I’m running out of time to find myself and wanderlust and then come back and start my life.
At the same time, though, the route that I chose to wanderlust is in teaching English and, full disclosure (now this stays just between you and me), teaching English to support my travel lifestyle is not my Ultimate Dream.
My Ultimate Dream is and has always been to write. Plain and simple. It was my Ultimate Dream when I was 5; it was my Ultimate Dream when I was 15; it was my Ultimate Dream when I was 25; and it’s my Ultimate Dream now.
I want it so bad I’m afraid to pursue it because I’m afraid to fail at it. So I keep pursuing…not it. Teaching English….adjacent to it…but not it. I’m starting to understand more and more the importance of believing in yourself when it comes to your dreams because at the end of the day you are the one making the choices. And you’ve got to believe in yourself enough to make the choices that will allow you to build toward your Ultimate Dream. And that is terrifying, because if you fail at the one thing that your heart has been telling you to do since you can remember….well then what?
I guess you go teach English overseas.