I’m a little bit lost. Lost in my thoughts, lost in the big city of London, lost in the competitive sea of career opportunities, lost in my scattered interests. I’ve always been a little bit lost, but it hasn’t always been an issue for me.
Growing up, I was a daydreamer, choosing to focus on idealistic plans or nostalgic musings rather than the very real task in front of me. I let my daydreams consume my mind, interrupting schoolwork, extra-curriculars– even social interactions. Distraction came more easily to me than it should have, and I didn’t believe it to be a problem until high school, when I was suddenly expected to start preparing for college at 14 years old. My peers were making plans for the future in a very non-idealistic, matter-of-fact way, while I was still thinking about how cool it would be to become a professional singer. I’m not discounting dreaming big in any way, but growing up in Cupertino, more practicality was expected from me.
I went through the motions of studying, opening my textbooks and reading the paragraphs, but I would be thinking about that concert coming up next weekend, or that song I just discovered. I attained the descriptor “spacey” from my friends and family, and was labeled in insinuations and subconscious actions as the loveable airhead. I learned that it is supremely hard to shake a label; we love to categorize others, and all we need is corroboration. Once I became old enough to start realizing that people would ask for my sister’s advice over mine, that I would have to try extra hard to be heard in family discussions, that friends would laugh condescendingly in conversations with me, the label began to bother me. The more I tried to shake it, the more it seemed to follow me, and the more I seemed to believe it, despite knowing better.
I started to lose sight of what I wanted, who I was, because I tried so hard to prove that I was capable. Did I still want to work in the music industry, or should I be doing something more “respectable”, more realistic. There’s a fine balance to be created between doing what you love and supporting yourself, and I started doubting if I could ever have both.
I would say I did most of my growing up in my second year of college. This was a time spent mostly by myself, which I partially enjoyed and partially hated. Although I often felt lonely, I needed that time to reflect on my life, and what I needed to change about myself to really be a successful person, professionally and socially. I came to the realization that I myself had to believe I was capable, before anyone else would. In the months leading up to the start of my third year and with it, my study abroad program, I told everyone who would listen that I needed a “change of scenery”; I needed to get out of the rut I was stuck in, and that I wanted to experience new food, new people, new adventures. I hadn’t realized how truthful my words were until I stepped off the plane and smelled the possibilities in the polluted but still somehow enlivening London air. I felt that I was given the opportunity to change for the better after not having had the best year, and realizing that I needed a new experience. Being independent and fully in control of myself in the beautiful and historic city of London has given me the courage I needed to continue pursuing what I’m passionate about, and just to be a more motivated, strong-willed individual as one needs to be in this world.
I’m starting to like being lost now, starting to turn it into a good thing. I’m using it as my strength, pursuing creative inspiration and random curiosity to new perspectives. I created this blog in order to try my hand at building a website with GitHub, and express myself through creative writing. I want to record my experiences as I am lucky enough to live in London and travel through Europe this quarter. I already feel like I’ve grown so much, and I can’t wait to take on whatever’s next.