I grew being called a “smart girl” and my teachers had mentioned to me that if I were to keep going this way, all doors would be open to me. My main role model was Rory Gilmore, an intelligent, witty and fictional Yale Graduate who had made me love to read and write. Plus, all of my friends were going to University and we were always talking about the possible career we could have when we are older. To say the least, back then, I used to believe that school was the only right path in order to be successful.
During my senior year of high school, I accumulated something like 170 absences, but would constantly claim that I LOVED school (mostly because I was good at it). It was the same for cegep (Quebec schooling) during which I would always show up to the minimum of class required. I would constantly change my mind regarding the program I wanted to pursue
(law school? Nursing? Political Sciences? Business?). I knew I could have good grades in most options, but for some reason, they never felt right. So I’m sure that if I were to tell you that I tried at least 7 programs and dropped out of all of them, you wouldn’t be surprised, but I sincerely was. I guess I was holding on to an old vision of myself and I couldn’t see how much I had changed.
Even funnier, I have always been ridiculously afraid of ending up having a “suburb life” (good husband, beautiful children, a 9 to 5 stable job and a cozy home) since I knew for a fact that it wouldn’t make me happy. So why was I pursuing things that would help me accomplish this lifestyle
(nothing is wrong with it, it’s just not for me) when what I truly dreamed of was to live by the ocean, travel, be a writer, have an animal shelter, have lots of crazy memories with my friends, have long-life partner and never feel “too old” for anything. All I want is to do as many things as possible and not get stuck in a comfortable routine. In other words, I want to work in order to live, not the opposite.
But still, I couldn’t break this idea of success that I had previously learnt. I felt as I could never be happy without a degree and I wanted so badly to find a program/job that I would be passionate about. So, every time I would drop out of school, I would start stressing out in order to find a new plan, a new school, a new program or anything that could make me feel like my life was still in order.
SURPRISE! Two weeks ago, I dropped out of school again. I was doing well, but my heart wasn’t in it. I knew that if I were to stay in school, I would loose my twenties constantly studying and working to pay for my rent. Afterward, I knew I would have a physically and emotionally draining job that would’nt make me happy.
However, it felt has if I couldn’t give up again and every time I would think about it, I would instantly feel guilty. I couldn’t be a disappointment once again. I didn’t want to hear people laugh about me giving up again and giving me the speech about getting serious if I wanted to have a future. But at the same time, if I were to stay in school, when would I have time to travel, have fun and make my dreams come true?
Those goals, even if they can seem silly, they represent success to me. My own definition of success is not getting a degree, nor it is to have an impressive career or to make a lot of money… It is rather to be surrounded by good, fun and trustworthy people and to never be bored or boring.
We are often expected to have figured out where we see ourselves in 5 years. Truth is, I don’t know and seriously, what is so wrong with that (and who actually follows their plan anyway)? Right now, all I can say is that I am open to any opportunities even if I have never considered them before and they are not conventionals.
Part of me feels like I should be anxious about my lack of plans, but I am just happy. Finally, I have decided to live for myself and listen to my heart and I am excited for the future.