We all know the John Lennon quote that says something like “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”. This is one of those things that you can’t realize until retrospectively examining your life. I spent 3 years of my life in Boston loving life, but in the back of my mind I could hear a voice that said “this won’t last”. Although I was looking forward to graduating and moving back home to be with my family and my then-boyfriend, something interesting happened; the closer I got to graduation the more that voice changed from “this won’t last” to “are you sure you want to leave this place?”
“I couldn’t help wondering whether or not I was making the right decision.”
I am a very introspective person, sometimes to a fault, so I like to think that I make decisions very carefully based on the best options. That being said, I realized that as much as I wanted to, there was really no way I could stay in Boston after graduation. Soon, student loans would kick in, I wouldn’t be receiving any form of financial aid for anything, and my car was on its last leg. With all of those expenses I knew I truly only had one option. So, I packed all of my things back up and moved home on what was maybe the hardest road trip ever. I was happy to get home to my family, but all things being equal I couldn’t help wondering whether or not I was making the right decision.
After a few weeks of feverish application I landed my current job. I was so relieved to know that my path was finally before me. A job in my field of study?! I was set. Before I knew it however, I was working late hours, missing dinners with my family, and missing out on spending time with my then-boyfriend. I was feeling very isolated. I felt sad and frustrated because I felt like I was missing out on other aspects of my life. This was NOT how things were supposed to go.
I quickly began questioning everything: wouldn’t I have been happier staying in Boston?; wouldn’t everything be perfect then?; why did I come home in the first place? I let these thoughts control my mood for too long. Months went by and I still found I wasn’t feeling as fulfilled as I had hoped. After talking with my Mom and my supervisor, I realized that what was missing was a specific goal. Sure I had general goals for myself, mostly work-related, but I completely missed the part about personal goals. I knew the sooner I had some type of plan in place, the happier I would be.
“I am actively working toward having the kind of life I want.”
In the time since these conversations, I have completely revamped my budget in order to work on my biggest goal: moving closer to the DC area. I know it is going to take some time, but I am always working on cultivating more patience so this is a great way to earn it! Now instead of feeling like a passive bystander, I am actively working toward having the kind of life I want.
You may be wondering if those questions ever pop back up. Unfortunately they often do! It can be hard to work through those moments, but I just try to keep things in perspective. When I remember that I am working toward something for the future, it gets easier. Sometimes I have to remember that achieving my current goals (namely living within my budget so I can save even more money when possible) will get me to my long- term goals.
I know in the future I will look back at this transitional time and appreciate the lessons I learned, but just like that quote, I can’t know all of the lessons until I’m looking back at this time with appreciation from the comfort of my own apartment!