The only thing I know in life is that I don’t know anything.
Alright. Maybe I know one more thing: I don’t ever want to sacrifice my passions for the realities of someone else’s life.
In an age of self-discovery, I’ve made it a point to venture beyond my comforts and explore new interests, new skins of myself I’ve never dared share before. But I keep coming back and asking myself: what it is that my heart beats for? What is it that I want to accomplish in this life –– what is it that I hope to never, ever relinquish from my soul?
I bleed passion –– sometimes, I think, a little too noticeably. I broadcast my heart out on a neon sign; it’s no secret what I’m interested in. Science, words, Earth, history, photography, research, language, different cultures, sharing stories. I can’t help but get excited when I have a new discovery, a new revelation. Maybe you care, and maybe you don’t care all the time. (And it’s okay if you don’t, I know it seems like I’m a bubble always about to burst).
If I’ve learned one thing this summer at my internship at the Ohio EPA: I don’t think I belong in a state government agency.
Yes, I am humbled and honored to have been selected as their Columbus college intern this summer. Yes, I am treated well and have a safe, relatively close-to-home work environment.
But coming straight from a university –– where I feel like every day is a year all wrapped into one morning, afternoon, and night –– I feel like the work I’m doing is a bit lackluster. Like I’ve just gone from running a sprint to a meandering walk. Like from reading a page-turner-of-a book to a five-inch-thick snoozer. Like a deflated balloon without any hope of flying higher.
Maybe it’s just because I’m young, or maybe it’s because I’m a woman of passion, but the atmosphere in which I work is much different than I anticipated. I can see how the promises of complacency and predictability make a convincing bargain to those who value consistency –– but I know it’s not there where my dreams are calling me.
If anything, my internship this summer is making me reflect more on returning to the realm of academia –– for perhaps a significant portion of my adult, working life. You see, a university is an independent thinker, just like me. It whirs and clicks to the heartbeat of thousands of intellectuals, fueling the rest of the world with research and new ideas.
And it’s a place I’ve always considered home. I never once thought going to school a chore but an exciting opportunity (scheduling day has been one of the highlights of my year since high school) –– and that’s for the last 13 years and counting. Maybe I belong alongside others who value education just as much as myself, or maybe that’s just where I’ll end up after I let my wanderlust soul travel the world.
Like I said earlier: the only thing in life I know is that I don’t know anything. I don’t know what’s really in store for me, and I don’t know my future. I DO know that I started out this college expedition with ambitious goals –– so why give in to them, just yet?
Why shouldn’t I go through life truly believing that I can be overjoyed and ecstatic about my career, every single day I live it? Why should I concede to accessibility when I can still chase the stars?
Why should I kill my dreams when they’ve only just begun?
Until next month,
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