For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a lawyer – don’t ask me where the idea came from; it’s just always been there. I think it’s still true. I think I could be happy as a lawyer. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. I love the legal system and I love arguing with people and I love the idea that I could be the person to save or change someone’s life forever. I love the organization and meticulousness and control that come with the job description. I love that it pays well enough that I would never have to worry about money, the way my parents had to. But I also think that I keep telling myself that I want to be a lawyer because I am terrified of changing my mind – I like to have a plan, I like to know what my next step is, and changing my mind would screw all of that up.
At this time next year, I will be done my first year at Western University in the English Literature program. I figure English Lit is a safe bet; I’ve always loved books and, just in case law school doesn’t work out, I can always go into publishing (see, I even have a Plan B – I need plans). Everyone around me is getting so excited about the prospect of leaving home and going off to school … and all I can think about is studying art in Paris, cooking in Sicily, dancing in Rio, architecture in London, sailing in Greece, wildlife in Australia, poetry in Vienna, love in Amsterdam. I know I will love university once I get there, and I am excited for this new adventure, but I’m also excited to have the freedom to see the world.
I’ve been to France and Ireland, and now I can’t get the desire to go everywhere else out of my head. I want to meet new people and try new foods and experience new cultures; I want to find my place. If you had have asked me three years ago where I thought I would find where I belong, I immediately would have said university; university is where everyone discovers what they are meant to be. But now, I think I know myself a little better. I feel more at home on a crowded street in a foreign place with people passing me by without a second glance than I think I ever will sitting at a desk in a lecture hall. I’ve always loved learning, and I think I always will, but I also think that I’d learn a lot more about life if I was actually experiencing it rather than reading about it in a textbook. I know I’ll be happy at university (and it’ll ease my parents worries about creating a life for myself), but I think my heart will always belong to the world.
I always imagined my life to turn out in a certain way. I was going to go to university, get a fabulous job that paid really well and that I loved, find the perfect guy, have the perfect wedding, and then have perfect children. I was going to live an extraordinarily ordinary life and grow old and be perfectly content. And then, I don’t know what happened, something just changed inside of me. Now I don’t care about being “financially stable” or having this “perfect” life – what is perfect anyway? All I really want is to travel the world with the person I love. I want to get on the wrong train and end up somewhere magical where we can lay out under the stars and talk about how wonderful it is to be us. I want no one to know my name and just be a faint memory years down the road of the girl who came through like a storm. I want to see the world and I want the world to see me and I want to feel completely alone and completely at one with everything all at once …