For the past several months my family, my friends, my mother’s coworkers, my doctors, and strangers alike have all presented me with a daunting question; what are your plans after college? The answer to that question should obviously be pretty simple, I’m majoring in Education so the short answer is I’m going to be a Teacher (assuming I get a…I’m pretty superstitious so I’m not going to finish that statement in fear of jinxing myself, but I’m sure you know where I was going with that 😉). While there is always a simple answer to the question for some reason, people always want to know more; “Where are you going to teach at? Where are you going to live? What grade do you think you’ll be teaching? Do you have a boyfriend (that’s my very favorite one….I obviously have to have a man to take care of me because I’m going to be a teacher *insert eye roll*). I know it sounds like I hate when people ask me questions and find interest in my life (I definitely don’t or I certainly wouldn’t be publicizing my blog) the biggest problem I have with these questions is I don’t have answers for them myself. In my parent’s minds, I need to go back to Dallas after graduating where I’ll teach in one of the suburban districts in the area and maybe even live with them for a year or two (while not paying rent sounds awesome…I’m still not convinced by this plan). In my friend’s minds, I need to find a place that makes me happy (this place of course is not going to be practical for a young, slightly broke working individual like myself). In the minds of my doctors, mother’s coworkers, and strangers…. well I actually don’t really know about them luckily, they don’t offer up their own opinions about my life decisions as openly as my family and friends do. The only thing I know for certain is my life would be a whole lot simpler if I could just stay in college for a little while longer (except not take classes…so I basically want a year or two to chill, I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request).
The most pressing issue that needs to be solved is where I’ll be living my post-grad life, once this question is answered all the other “who, what, when, where, and whys” will likely (emphasis on the likely) fall in place. While I would love nothing more than to pack up and live in an entirely different state than Texas, I know that isn’t a reasonable or practical decision to make at this point in my life. If I lived in a fantasy world, I’d be off to California the minute after I’m handed my diploma. I’ve always been really drawn to California (I really wanted to go to college there but, I respected my parent’s wishes and stayed stateside), I love the vibe, I hear the weather is great, the music scene there is awesome, and it all together seems like it’d be a fun place to experience my early 20s in. That is simply a fantasy for several reasons; California is the most expensive state to live in, I’d most likely have to retake a couple classes and become recertified to even get a job there, and I don’t have any family or friends anywhere near the State so that may be a bit of an adjustment. Because California and several other intriguing places are out of the question for the time being, I have set my sights on Austin. It’s kind of like the Los Angeles of Texas, it’s not quite as progressive….but I definitely think it’s an eclectic enough city for me (it also has the BEST food and is quite scenic which is harder to come by around here). As you can see, my mind is all over the place; I have these extreme expectations for my life after college and have convinced myself the only way to live out my youth (while I still have it) is in a hip city……when in reality once I become a working adult I’ll probably be begging to return back to my quaint (often times boring) life in College Station.
The funniest part about all of this is if you’d asked 18-year-old Maya where she wanted to go after College she’d have said this; “Back to Dallas of course! It’s a great place to raise a family!”. My priorities have definitely shifted a little….because at 18, I wanted to be married by 22/23 (I’m not opposed to this but the way my relationships are going at the moment, this likely won’t be happening), have a baby by 24 (THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN….working at a daycare has really shined some reality on this thought…..I think I’ll be ready for one by 30 but I’m willing wait a little longer as well😊), and a few years after that I’d be living in a typical suburban home with a working husband, a dog, and my 2.1 kids (I think that’s the average American number?). This life wouldn’t be bad I’m pretty familiar with it because I lived it ( I am ½ of the 2.1 kids), but me being the free-spirited, independent, and creative person I am realized ,as I got older, I needed more to my life. At the end of the day, I’m definitely not opposed to living a life like the one I described in my 30s (minus the suburban house, my taste is definitely more modern) right now I crave the city life. How amazing is it to be able to WALK to restaurants, have bars and entertainment right at your fingertips, and see homes that have their own originality. I understand there are many downsides to living in a city, but I feel that I definitely deserve a right to live through them anyway (In my 20 years I have only lived in suburban cities of Texas).
I feel now is the perfect time to write about these concerns and think about these unknowns, because in exactly 12 months I should have the answers to all my family, friends, mother’s coworkers, doctors, and strangers’ questions. Whether it be my parent’s home in suburban Dallas, a rustic studio apartment in Austin, or a ROOM (I would only be able to afford a singular room) in a house in California, I know I’ll be starting my first year of true adulthood the way I should be (to me everything happens for a reason). Ultimately, I KNOW I’ll make it out to a city or a different state one day, the most pressing question for myself is, when will I make it happen?
Catch you on the flipside!