Thinking Of The Horizon

It’s November, or Novembeard, or the best time of the year if you’re a self-proclaimed beard-enthusiast and badass MC like me.

But, seriously, it’s November and it’s almost over. Can you believe it?

A year ago, I was seriously contemplating graduating a semester early, which would mean in an alternate-bizarro reality, I would be graduating this December. Yikes. I honestly can’t believe I ever considered that. Besides saving myself money, I don’t know why I would want to graduate because I am so not ready.

Over the past three weeks or so, people have taken it upon themselves to incessantly ask “So what are you planning on doing after graduation?” or “What are you going to do with a creative writing major and journalism minor?”

And while I really want to say that I plan on crying into my coffee mug while watching emotionally volatile television and reading emotionally draining books, I say “I’m not really sure.” Because I’m not. I’m really, really not.

Being an English major is pretty awesome because I haven’t pigeon-holed myself into a specific field, but I also feel like I have so many choices that I can’t breathe.

There’s just so many potential future paths and I’m constantly oscillating between them. Should I get an MA in Literature, or MFA in Non-Fiction? Or both? I really want to travel, so why not teach English abroad?

Then there’s journalism, publishing, or internships (because really, I’m not counting anything out). For example, just in the last week alone, I’ve decided to go to graduate school and then decide not to go at least four times.

I think a lot of my anxiety stems from this cultural obsession with this linear progression of the ideal, or right way, to make it through life. We’re supposed to graduate high school, go to college, go to graduate school and/or get a job, get married, blah, blah, blah. It’s absolutely exhausting, not to mention absurd.

Just thinking about taking a year off between undergrad and grad school feels like I’m letting someone down, though I’m not exactly sure who.

I know I’m not the only person who feels this way, but I can’t help but feel like they’re dealing with it better than me (or, at least, they’re not as vocal and emotional on the internet as I am).

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future and how in five short months I’ll be a person, a real one. Yes, I’ll probably move back with my parents because I’m not unrealistic, but I’ll officially be an adult. One who talks about college in the past tense and pays taxes and worries about mortgages (What’s a mortgage? I’m kidding…kind of).

I don’t mean to sound depressed, because there is a part of me that’s excited for the future. I’m excited to see what I’ll make of myself, how I’ll change when I leave New Paltz and who I’ll meet in my post-college adventure. The future is completely malleable which is kind of beautiful.

If I’m being totally honest (and why the hell not), I’m less scared of failure than that one day I’ll stop writing altogether. I’d rather have a thousand rejection slips than years worth of blank, white pages.

I know I don’t have to have everything figured out, but I’m a person who hates change and that’s the only thing I can see right now. It’s looming on the horizon, casting a shadow on just about everything, and that’s terrifying.

So, for now, I’ll just enjoy the rest of November, try to forget about the future (or freak out about it a little less) and just focus on the beards.