On Being On Pause

The dreaded question of a recent graduate: What’s next? When I graduated last summer, my brain was a jumbled mess, and I could scarcely decide on anything for myself let alone answer that question that makes one believe that they are required to know what indeed does come next in their life. I am one of those people who did not quite figure it out before graduation, and so drifted back home with a little bit of shame, a decent amount of debt, and a lot of possibilities but nowhere to start.

Fast forward six months and I am living in a strange half-awake, comfortable but boring existence in my hometown. Some of the hip articles for twenty-somethings tell me that this is perfectly fine and is a good way to save up money while figuring out what is next. Others are encouraging me to get off my ass and go on adventures (which is truly what I long to do for the rest of my life) whether I have the money or not.

I can not say for certain which is right, because I think it is different for everybody. What I do know is that the last six months have not been remotely memorable and I miss college terribly. I know that I am getting so comfortable that to even research and look into my possible futures is now scary and daunting. This is the actual beginning of my life and I’d rather not screw it up. I also know I can not afford anything. Like, anything.

So what do we do, fellow hometown-dwellers? We are itching to get out but fearing to be stuck in a job below our education levels forever simply because of the convenience. There is no risk in being on pause, a certain lethargic numbness has arisen where the only real worries are whether I can stay awake long enough to watch all my Netflix shows. There is no risk, but there is also no reward.

For now I’m here. And not much else.


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