26 September, 2013

Life is beginning.

I had my first real freak out about the future last night.  I was sitting in the library, overseeing IGS study hours, and the two girls I was working with started talking about life.  I said I wanted to teach English over seas, and one girl turned to me and said, "Are you applying for a Fulbright?"  I said, "I'm thinking about it", even though I decided a few days ago that I wanted to actually apply.  She says, "have you started your application?"  Well, uh, no, pledging has kind of taken over my life, and I don't have time to stay on top of my homework, let alone work on an application.  I summarized and said no.
"Well the application is due next week."
I cried a little inside.  I thought that I had all this time to start my applications; I truly thought that nothing was going to be due until about December time.  I thought I could just take a day this next week and sit and apply.  Well, I can't for that one.  I was so angry at myself and sad and hurt that I didn't even think about it until the end of September.  I realized that, even though its only the first month of senior year, I need to get going on my applications.  I need to figure out my life.
So I made a decision on what I want to do.  It became very clear to me what I wanted, and what I needed to do.  I don't want to go to grad school right now, my heart just isn't in it.  I absolutely love psychology research and I want to do that eventually, but right now I need to see the world.  If I get some terminal illness in the next ten years, I'll be more upset that I didn't follow my dreams and face my fears and see the world than I will be if I don't study and get my PhD.  It's just less important in my heart overall.  I also truly believe that God made and shaped my heart on purpose.  "This heart of mine was made to travel" has literal meaning in my life; I know that He gave me these passions to do great things with them.  So all of a sudden my life makes sense.  I'm going to go abroad for a year.  I'm going to teach English or do mission/humanitarian work.  That's what I want to do.  So now I need to get my butt in gear and get going.  I set up an appointment in the CSL to figure out what programs to apply to, and I've been talking to some connections about how they did their teaching English abroad experience.  I'm getting my resume looked at sometime next week, and I'm going to start applying ASAP.
As scared as I am, I'm so excited.  I've been dreaming of this for years.  Literally.  Last year I was so upset that I had another year of school ahead of me before I went into the real world.  Now, life is beginning.  I am finally making plans for the part of the future that I've been the most excited about.  Even though I love Gustavus and I love my friends here, I'm really excited to move forward in my life and grow.  Life is about diving in heart first, so I guess here goes nothing!