I’m living a little bit edgier these days (and managing to push my parents over the edge), as I navigate my way through this crazy and confusing period of my life. From the age of 5, I’ve wanted to be the president; I’ve always loved politics, and I’ve never been able to imagine myself doing anything else. Until now.
And as I (somehow) manage through college, I’ve decided that I don’t really want to make policy as much as I once did. And it’s scary. I’m realizing that what I’ve always envisioned for my life isn’t the life I’m going to have. I’m at such a weird place: I’m satisfying the idea that who I thought that I would be isn’t who I’m going to be, and that that’s an okay thing. College is the time where you realize that you literally can be whomever you’d like; just because you wanted to be an astronaut or a doctor at age 5 (or even 18), doesn’t mean that that’s who you have to be. You can be a teacher, or an accountant, or have any other profession that you can possibly think of. Here goes the old cliché: the world is at your fingertips.
It’s so stressful and frighting, but insanely exciting, too.
I decided last week that I will not be continuing on here at USC for my graduate degree; I was on track to stay an extra year and receive my Masters in Public Administration in Spring of 2017. For only being an extra year of schooling and an additional $60k (seems like chump change in comparison to my undergrad), it seemed worth it. But what good is having a specialized degree in something that I’m realizing I don’t even want to study, let alone spend the rest of my life doing? None at all. So, with reality settling in (and realizing that the convenience of getting this degree isn’t worth compensating the next 40+ years of my life), I’ve decided on a different path.
I want to write. I loveeee writing. Hence, it’s 2am and–although I should be sleeping–I’m sitting on the couch punching away at my (full-sized Apple) keyboard. And although I am obsessed with politics and everything bipartisan, I don’t know that I could be at the heart of it. It’s far too mucky of a game (and it’s just that–a game), and no matter how incredibly virtuous one may be, consistent moral decisions are hard to make in such an environment. Unless you’re Anthony Portantino, in which case you’re really just a walking model of a values-based leader. If you don’t know him, look him up; he’s pretty incredible.
So, I made the call to my parents and said:
- I’m not staying at USC for grad school.
- Don’t get too excited, I’m still going to cost you a ton of money, just somewhere else.
- I’ll probably be moving about 2,500 miles farther than I am right now.
- I won’t be able to give you the Lincoln room in the White House because Mrs. President is no longer in my future (probably).
- I want to be a writer instead (I’m sure they were thrilled about the salary difference).
- Oh, and I GOT MY NOSE PIERCED!
Okay, so that last one wasn’t exactly in the same conversation, but it definitely happened (in a text). I decided that with this newly chosen writing career that I’m positive awaits me in the (not-so-distant) future, that I needed a little extra spunk. So–naturally–I got my nose pierced. I’m sorry, was that not a logical thought process? Don’t worry, my parents didn’t think so either. But if there’s ever a good time, it’s now. Now is always the time. Sure, I might take it out in a year, or when I’m 25 or maybe I’ll be a too-cool grandma at 95 and buried with it; I have no idea. But what I do know is that right now, in this moment, I absolutely love the new, studded addition to my nose. And that’s all that matters.
Unless, that is, my dad pulls the plug on my finances and my mom stops sending me cookies; then we’ll have some real issues.
Me, my newly pierced nose; Brian, the hole-maker himself; and Alyssa, with her navel jewels.
In other news: I’ve given my sister an incredible chance to become the favorite child for a while, seeing as I’ve become the “crazy, radical daughter that moved to that freak city (Los Angeles) and has gone absolutely insane.” That’s not an actual quote, but I imagine something like that was running through my dad’s head when he saw my newly bedazzled face.
Keep doing you. Preferably in ways that don’t aggravate your parents by piercing your body parts.