Less than four months remain until my twenty-first birthday and only recently have I found myself utterly confused about my current path in life. I may be cliché in thinking that this birthday should be some kind of paramount event in my life, but how I envision my twenty-one year old self is someone who is about to begin their final year of school, either preparing to take certain exams to move onto Graduate School, or editing resumé samples to create the perfect one for each employer. But all I see is a scared little girl, afraid to move out of this seemingly new comfort-zone. And it's not that I'm not excited about the future and I'm certainly not going to try to keep it from coming, but I have this eerie feeling that I am misplaced.
At seven years old, I took pride in telling people that, "When I grow up I want to be a teacher. And maybe a coach."
At ten years old, I took pride in saying, "I'm going to be a teacher and a gymnastics coach one day."
At sixteen years old, I took pride in saying, "I'm going to the University of Miami because the School of Education there is awesome. And I'm going to be on the track team."
And finally at eighteen years old, my mother was able to take her turn in gloating. "My daughter attends the University of Miami, studying French and Secondary Education."
Up until the eighteen year old point, I think people always thought my dream to one day become a teacher who could change the world of teaching was...cute. Or maybe just valorous. But now it seems like everyone who asks, stops, tilts their head and slowly begins to say, "Sooo, you're thinking of becoming a teacher who coaches French people?" And then comes the chuckle. And I never took it to heart because they simply did not understand. And to a certain degree I still don't take it to heart. What bothers me is that I now find myself questioning what I will do with my French degree, and if Education will be enough.
Before I could read I started building up this wall of security, unconsciously reassuring myself that no matter what happened in life, I knew I could become a teacher. And a big part of me really senses that wall of security is crumbling down. Surely everyone has a childhood dream of becoming something special one day; NFL star, firefighter, doctor, etc. For me, the something special was becoming a teacher. So for years I closed my eyes to various professions. Sure, I dabbled with the thought of studying Math, becoming a doctor of some kind (but I can't say I love seeing needles or sharp objects), and even a crime-scene investigator or psychologist at one point in time. But I always staggered back to teaching. I told myself I was born to be a teacher and a mother. But now I ask, why have I limited myself to these roles?
I'm twenty years old and I haven't got a clue what to do. Almost three years into a degree and two specialties, I find myself altogether questioning what I will be when I supposedly "grow up". Yes, age is just a number and I'm a firm believer that no one ever truly has to grow up. But let's be honest, bills and car payments and career decisions are kind of a grown-up thing to handle. And it seems as though I have about a year to square everything away.
Twenty years old; with a fifteen year old false sense of security; without a clue.