Recently I’ve received a lot of comments that are all along the lines of “You’ve made all the perfect decisions,” “You’re life is going so well,” and “You have such a bright future ahead of you.” Well frankly, I have no idea what I’m doing. Television made me want to be a lawyer more than anything, passion led me to mathematics, and now luck has brought me to a career as an actuary. With all the feedback about making all the “right” decisions in life such as choosing to go to Berkeley, planning to do public service in New Orleans, deciding to study abroad in London, etc etc, I now am feeling an immense pressure to continue making such carefully thought-out decisions. Whether it is luck or hard work, I have somehow made it through the past 21 years alive and well, and surprisingly, have made my parents somehow proud…but where do I go from here? Sure, I can get through school just fine because you constantly have people who have walked that same path who are there to guide you, but I know no one who has done the same thing as me, at least no one I can turn to. Everyone I feel like I can turn to either tells me that NY will be fun but that I will return to California soon enough, or they tell me that I’ll be fine. I have begun to detest hearing that and realize what a bother it is for me to tell people that when they seek advice from me. Who is to say that it will be fine? What does it even mean to be “fine”? What is the key to succeeding in a corporate environment? I have not a clue. “Do good work” is what I keep on hearing, but what in the world does that mean?
Apart from work itself, finding my first apartment was a mess. I luckily landed on my feet but am not expected to just fly to NY and arrive at the doorstep of this new apartment and expect that everything will be ok. I’m literally living with a complete stranger. I am not too worried about it, but a part of me tells me I should be more fearful. I should be more fearful of finding a roommate online and more fearful of living in the heart of NY. Am I really that cold or is rather a sense of there’s-nothing-I-can-do-about-it? I hope it’s the latter.
Speaking of, I have recently gotten more distant from my emotions and I wonder if it should bother me. Why is it so easy for me to make people fall for me and then walk away without a scratch? It is but May and I have already convinced at least 5 people that they would do anything to make me happy and yet I have left all but one of them without a tear to be shed. Am I incapable of feeling passionate towards someone or am I hiding because of past pain? Perhaps it is because I have had too much relationship experience that I am just too confused to truly evaluate what it is I want out of life.
I keep on switching between a belief that I am incredibly independent or dependent. On one hand, I am able to be spontaneous on my own without the guarantee of a companion, but on the other hand, in the back of my mind I know that there is always someone I can rely on. To have someone tell me that having so many best friends is the equivalent of having no friends really makes me think. Do I call so many people my best friend in order to have someone always there to rely on even though I secretly know that none of them would ever sacrifice anything for me if push came to shove? Is that why I’ve become such a succubus and can’t prevent myself from surrounding myself with men that would do anything for me? I want to spend some time “getting to know myself,” but I know that I’m too scared to ever be truly alone. Maybe that’s why I’m so worried about moving to NY — the independent part of me made a rash and bold decision out of ambition, but the dependent part of me is realizing in retrospect that if I am to stay with a man in SF I will be alone in a new city. Is this reliance on men that I’ve developed over the past 6 years becoming my kryptonite? Is this such a bad weakness to have? If I have found a way to shut off the emotions I have towards relationships, then having men around me that I have some form of control over can’t possibly be the worst problem to have…I hope.
…so what now? I’m in the prime of my life and scared beyond belief of having a misstep in my professional and personal life. I’m 21, graduated a top college with a double major in the STEM fields, have traveled the world, have lived college to its fullest, have dated as many guys as I could ever want to date, become president of a club I cared about, joined a sorority, and have gotten an actuary’s dream job in NYC — if I make a mistake, it’s only downhill from here. Well, confidence is the best outfit a person can don right? I suppose I will just have to shut out all my worries and hold my head high to show them that a Californian can truly survive and thrive in the Big Apple.