A year ago, I was “fresh off the boat,” literally, and there was something exciting about being back. I was putting out graduate school applications, visiting friends, spending time with my sister whom I adore, and sleeping under the Christmas tree with Abner. The future was this bright unknown that was slowly dimmed and dulled as rejection after rejection came pouring in. As 2013 rolled around, it became very apparent that the first half of it, at least, was going to be tough – and that was before it really got bad.
I don’t wish to recap 2013. It was a hard but important year, and that’s enough said about it. But as it comes to a close, I’m remembering how I felt a year ago. In a way, somehow, that old excitement has returned. Options I wish had come my way a year ago are slowly and surely beginning to present themselves. Nothing is set in stone. Yet. I can’t tell you where I’ll be in a week from now (probably Nashville), let alone a month or two. Boston, Dubai, Morocco, the UK? There’s a short-list of sorts that changes every day. As does the likelihood of any one particular place.
When I got back to America, at first, I just assumed that because I was back in America, I should find a nice city, a place I wanted to be, and settle down. Because that’s what normal people do. Despite how difficult it was to find a job, to even get an interview (one in a whole year of looking), I’m not sure I ever really took the time to consider what I wanted or what was right for me. Now I have, and going again is the direction my feet and my heart are moving together.
If someone handed you a globe and said, “There’s no one and nothing holding you back. Just pick a spot and go,” where would you pick? I don’t pretend that the idea of saying goodbye again isn’t difficult. To my family. Or to a handful of friends I hold dear. But to do what’s right for me is to not be held back by something that leaves me incomplete. And holding onto that globe and all the freedom it contains has never felt better.
And so it is that I’m poised, renewing a passport, and ready to pack.