Blogging is a great way to jot down epic memories of talking about life’s uncertainties, ideations, various routes… and I love to write down empowering things when I’m done with a refreshing talk.
Such is the case for this post: A couple amazing friends from UCSB stayed the night at my house last night (after our 11-hour trip to Disneyland, which I would NEVER do with anyone except the best of the best friends).
Three friends are ones I haven’t seen and hung out with since I graduated from UCSB in 2011. One of those friends studied abroad in Chile for 14 months and introduced us to two more friends, one of which she studied abroad with… hearing their studies and outlook on life since living abroad was truly inspirational and uplifting. I’ve said it a million times before, but I truly connect and LOVE those who are well-traveled, well-read, and well-experienced. Those types of people are easiest to connect and bond with… it’s gratifying to know that when traveling, I’m not only going to meet people from that specific country but also all over the world, from various cities, states, and regions. It’ll be something I know I can’t get enough of (I can’t even get enough of it right now), and I most likely won’t be settling back down in California if I can help it.
The conversations that really resonated within me were two in particular: one right after our dinner (Bruxie’s makes the most amazing waffle sandwiches ever) and one right after our gigantic breakfast that my parents coordinated (humongous breakfast burritos). My friend’s friend was giving some advice in regards to decisions about law schools, and her advice was applicable to more than just that pool of people.
“You really need to know what is best for you and just go for it– it’s not worth letting anyone or anything hold you back, since your goals will never be achieved that way.”
Are you a person who likes working with others, or do you thrive in an environment on your own? What interests do you hold? What skill sets do you have? What makes you happiest in life? These are all things we discussed… I love deep, intellectual talks like these. We also talked about the value of having multiple interests: why can’t there be jobs that combine technology and arts? Why is there always a separation and ranking between science/engineering and any liberal arts major? It doesn’t mean one person is better than another if we like arts and culture more than sciences. We all have different strengths and passions… some of us have more or less than others, but it doesn’t, in any way, make anyone more superior or inferior.
However, America has a certain tendency to make it seem like some classes of professionals are better than others– and it’s terrible. Take me, for example… I’m moving to a new country in less than 8 months, and I’m constantly being badgered by Americans (note that any Kiwi or Ozzie doesn’t do this) about what job I have, why I’m moving without a job secured right now, how I’m going to find a job, etc. Anyone who keeps badgering me about this is more than likely not a true friend nor someone who understands the scope of traveling and pursuing dreams. They also could be envious of the fact that they don’t have the courage to up and do this, which could be why their only source of validation is knowing that I don’t have a job set up yet. Well, guess what. There is ALWAYS a way to find work abroad, and I’m going to have something set up when I move out there. Judgmental people can suck it, since they’re not worth being around anyway.
We should all be able to do something with our lives that incorporates all different areas of what we love– for instance, all of our group of friends was united though The M.U.S.I.C. Club, a non-profit dedicated to academic and musical mentorship for elementary students in the Santa Barbara community (http://www.themusicclub.org). Our love for music and community service/making a difference in the community brought all of us together– and this was just something on the side we all loved doing. I think it’s so awe-inspiring to meet people who share the same life philosophies, interests, passions for helping others, and still manage to balance a wonderful social life as well!
One of my friends also mentioned meeting a 5th grader at a local elementary school he tutors at; she had concocted a “life plan” with all sorts of things she wanted to major in– everything from linguistics to mathematics, with about 20 different things on it. He told us about how impressed he was that this little 5th grader had the ability to dream so big and list all this out even BEFORE she was in high school… shows real dedication and passion. He asked her about her top three choices, and she responded sufficiently, but also added, “I love everything, I want to do it all- I’m interested in all of this!” Logically, most of us know that it isn’t possibly to major in 20 different things, but with more experience and time, it becomes a possibility to get involved with all different areas (i.e. tutoring, becoming a professor, freelancing, volunteering for certain things on the side). His story reminded me of how I have always been- really set on a few goals and dreams (of course, they’ve all changed over time).
“Dream big. It’s the first step to success […] Shoot for the moon. Even if you fail, you’ll land among the stars.”
This culminated into a discussion this morning around how we sometimes need to “pay our dues” and do an internship or volunteer our time just to gain experience. There are tons of job postings out there that ask for 3-5 years of experience, and we all talked about how we were perplexed after graduation and facing the, “Where are the 1-3 years of experience job postings?” I think the majority of young professionals our age can relate to this in some aspect or another, EVEN if we think we have our lives figured out. Heck, after graduating, I thought for sure I was going to stay with Disney, get into PR/communication for Disney and work my dream job of being a publicist/talent agent eventually at The Walt Disney Studios. I only wanted to work in a corporation. About two years later, I’ve gone a completely new direction and want to be free– free to meet people, free to socialize and partake in thrilling, outdoor adventures at my pleasure, and just take life as it comes. I would have never been able to follow my true passion and dreams if I continued to stay working in the position I’m in. I happen to have the best leader in the world, but when you know in your heart that you’re not right for something, it’s like a calling to change it rather than ponder over it and continue staying put. I understand that some might want more experience with a great company. For me, I need to be constantly stimulated, excited, and challenged, or else I lose interest.
I’m not blogging this to undermine anyone in anyway who chooses to stay in California rather than travel the world, since half my friends don’t want to do that or don’t have the finances (which is the situation that most young individuals like us are in). I blog to recapitulate my life, sometimes for the benefit of myself to reflect on how I wrote as a 22-yr. old, since I know I’m bound to change on a monthly, yearly, century-basis. We’re constantly evolving, but I think it’s fascinating to try and capture little memories here and there that really excite and motivate you. Sharing anything I learn with others is just something in my nature– I’m not the type that likes to keep to myself or work alone.
On another note, our scavenger hunt through Disneyland for Minnie’s Moonlit Madness (my second and last one) was successful. I’ll miss certain Disney-only functions like this to SOME extent when I leave, but they’re all different from the scope of what my memories will be like when I travel.
I’ve also finalized my decision to extend my working holiday visa to two years. I’m working through logistics on how to go about this extension– I know I probably need to finalize it while IN NZ and I can’t do it while still here, but I think everything will be fine. The Hobbit: Part 3 was pushed back to Dec. 17, 2014 (instead of July 2014), which was a blessing in disguise since it was the last push I needed to say that I want to stay in NZ/Australia for two years rather than just one. Based on how others travels have gone, I won’t be surprised if I don’t return to America after 2015, as well. I could be reaching out to a certain demographic of Californians who moved out there, but anyone who moved out there never returned and still lives in the country with the most freedom in the world…. 😉 Sounds perfect.