Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I like to think that one day I’ll be living lakeside in a glorious home that I built and personally designed on a 10-acre property and have the time to leisurely soak in the sunshine unto my pale skin. I’ll be slathered in sunscreen and bug-spray, warding off the unhappiness tied to bugs and sun when they touch me. I’ll be reading and writing to my heart’s content, unworried with my finances and relationships. Everything will be dandy. My happy home and happy husband will be present and thriving. I’ll have the time, resources, and money to help as many people as I can to the best of my ability; the desire to help where I can will never leave me. My degree from UW will be hanging in my at-home office, or as I’ll call it, “the writing nook.” My 4 years at the UW will have been the highlight of my life and led me to a writing career that skyrocketed and gave me the opportunity to earn millions of dollars.

Isn’t that the American dream? Or, better defined, my personal vision for the American dream? I do not know what my life entails, even if I’m only looking ahead to 5 months from now. My life is going to be different than I had hoped. I’d worked for all my years in high school with one goal in hindsight: Be a Husky. All I ever wanted was to be a Husky at the University of Washington. I saw my sister have the same dream and be crushed when it couldn’t become her reality. Although we have different reasons, I am experiencing what I watched her go through 6 years ago. I am unable to attend the UW.

No, I wasn’t denied acceptance. I have been accepted! I had tailored my transcripts and activities with the goal of making it in to the UW. Four years of my life were spent thinking, “would this better my chances in getting into the UW?” or “I HAVE to get straight A’s – that’s what they want at the UW.” All of those years of consciously tailoring my life to fit their expectations of freshmen paid off. I was accepted to be apart of their freshman class in Fall 2014. Something that I continually forgot to remind myself of was why.

I’d wanted to be a Husky since I was 10 years old. My girl scout troop took a tour and I was dazzled. I couldn’t get over how magical the libraries seemed and how cool it would be to read in the courtyard under the cherry blossoms in the week that they’re blooming. I read up on how academically rigorous their courses were and I was hooked. Being a total nerd and loving to learn my entire life, this school appealed to me. I never considered distance, family obligation, money, weather, where I’d live…  nothing. I was hooked at 10 and nothing changed that for 8 years.

It didn’t hit me until this academic year that I need to consider more than my 10 year old heart liked to consider. I fell in love when it wasn’t meant for me. I wish I hadn’t realized it so far down the road. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this dream that wasn’t mine to live. I don’t regret how I’ve spend my time through high school. I’ve had an ideal high school experience and I’ve loved it so so so much. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience or better people to experience it with. Ugh, I’m so mushy and cliche. But really.

So Seattle is no longer my dream or my end goal. It scares me because now I have no idea what my dream or end goal is. I’d had it set for 8 years and now as the time approaches for me to fulfill that dream, it’s not my dream to have anymore. I don’t belong at UW or Seattle Pacific University. My dream schools aren’t really what I want. I don’t like rain. I don’t like crammed quarters. I don’t like ‘college life.’ I don’t like 3 and a half hours away from my home. I don’t like driving in/up to Seattle. I don’t like not having a car. So I like the school. So I got in. So… what!? It’s not where I belong and I am coming to terms with that. Slowly but surely, I am coming to terms and learning a new reality!

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