Our Life Track. (Part I)

A little over a month ago, I submitted an application to a graduate program in England to get my Masters in education. I only applied to one school because this is really the only program I want to go to. And I suppose it’s not the end of the world if I don’t get into grad school right. this. second. It did feel that way the first time I applied to college, what with my parents not giving me much of a choice and all. But this time around, it’s my choice to go to grad school if I want and when I want. Anyway, since I applied to just the one school, I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure and anxiety about whether I’ll get in or not. And I know I’m doing this to myself. No one else seems to be as concerned about this as I am. Not even my parents.

I know I’m not alone in my struggle to better my future, though, because a good friend and coworker of mine here in Japan is feeling the same urge I feel to get a move on. We’re both in our mid-twenties, we’re both pretty smart kids, and we have open minds and a taste for adventure. We’ve also both discussed how we feel envious of our friends back in the States who are already working jobs with great pay, or they’re married with kids, or they’re living in New York like she and I both want to someday…. Did I miss something? Did I get off track? How come they already get to be where I want to be right now? Why am I not there?

Is this what they call the quarter life crisis?

I’m nearing 25, I have no money, I work at a company with hardly any in-house mobility, and I get easily frustrated and many times feel like an idiot because I live in a country where I can barely speak the language and most definitely can’t read anything. I also know I won’t meet my future life partner while I’m here. My parents had already been married for 4 years and were supporting each other by the time they were my age. My brothers were supporting themselves too by 25. What’s my problem?

Is it really fair to compare myself to them? Or to anyone?

I told my friend, a few evenings ago while drinking cinzanos and sharing her balcony, that even though it seems like those other people we know are so much further ahead than us, it’s not really the case. I tried to justify it by the fact that we are in Japan. Not many of them would be willing to come here and live like this. Because let me tell you: it ain’t easy. I mean, yes, we can afford to go out and have fun and experience a million new things, but gaining experience like this takes its toll on you. Frustration, illiteracy, confusion, translation, isolation, cabin fever, body size. Heaven forbid you get sick in Japan. Which is what I am right now. Again. I’ve never learned so much about home remedies on the internet in my life. I digress.

(to be continued…)


3 thoughts on “Our Life Track. (Part I)

  1. I’m going to answer one of your questions – “Is it really fair to compare myself to them? Or to anyone? ”

    That would be a NO. Everyone has their own journey throughout life. You can spend your time envying or wondering about other people’s paths but it’s a waste of time. You’re not them and never will be. Which is a really awesome thing if you think about it. I will admit it is easier to look at other life paths and think “OH I WANT THAT” but that’s because you can SEE it. If you could see your own path through someone else you might say the same thing -“OH I WANT THAT” and silly you, you’re on it (does that make sense?).

    The Unknown is the BEST part about life if you embrace it. Why do you read a book? To learn something new. That’s what life is. Everyday you experience something new. As for the Grad school, I hope that you are aware that I am incredibly proud of you for applying. For really. I’m envious too. In fact I’m I WANT THAT envious lol. But I have my own path to follow. Believe it or not I’ve actually created a GOAL in my life path! I’m going to go to school for a PhD in Psychology so that I can study ze brain. I fear this means I will be in school probably until my late 30’s AND I’m going to have to give up a “great job” that has “great pay”. But I’m not happy and I’m tired of pretending that I am. Saying I’m scared is the understatement of the century. BUT this is the journey I’m on, the one that I chose and because of that it WILL be awesome.

    Don’t compare yourself to other people because they chose something different. You are doing what you want to do and that’s the main thing. You only get one life and you live it the way YOU choose. So god damn it girl understand that you are awesome and that your path is going to be FUCKING AWESOME. Always remember you have a cheerleader in SF and that she believes in you 150%. Yous gots ze smarts. Use ’em.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with H-bomb. I also know that most of us share the same feelings. I’m at the same point right now- What have I been doing that keeps me from my goals and how do I eliminate it? – How did others get so much farther “ahead?” – What would make me really, truly happy?- and I’m over 35!
    You have to let go of the comparisons and the shoulds, and go with your gut, go with the flow. You have friends who are proud of you, and you are definitely brave to be where you are right now. Keep going!!


  3. you guys are great… thank you for the kind words and i love you both. but fear not… there is a part II coming. ;)

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