When I was younger, I used to play this game where I would look at people passing by in their cars and make up imaginary lives for them. “This guy looks like he’s in a hurry; probably an important business man on his way to a meeting.” “This girl looks upset, maybe she just got the news that she has an incurable cancer.” I had a desire to understand everyone I came across on a deeper, more personal level.
Now I’m 22 years old and I still wonder. I log onto facebook and see my 600+ “friends” and their lives through status updates, pictures, shared articles, etc.. I see the lives they’ve crafted through the things they’ve decided is worth it and appropriate to share. But I still can’t help but wonder what is really going on with them; what’s happening in their lives that they’re choosing not to share.
I’m in a weird place right now. I just graduated and have found myself plopped in Colorado surrounded by new people, new jobs, and a new confusion I haven’t really felt. For the first time in my life, I feel like I don’t have much of a direction. I’m torn between pursuing a job in my field, making enough money to live a life of luxury, or continuing on with my passion for animals and nature. I think the only thing that will make me happy will be working with animals, but I don’t want to find myself in a position where I’m 40 years old and scraping by on $30k a year (no offense if that’s you, that’s just not where I want to be.)
When I think of what makes me happy, I think of working in the jungles of Africa, studying primates, tracking their lives through journals and photography. But is that really a feasible existence? Or if I pursue something like that, will I just find myself in the jungle with the same existential crisis I’ve been feeling since I’ve been pushed into the “real world?”
Either way, I feel lost, and I wonder if others do too.