The First One

[I think I genuinely stared at the blank screen for five minutes before even typing a sentence and who knows how many times I deleted a word and started over… Either way, I’m here. It’s been a while since I’ve written something that other people can see, so please bear with me on the quality.]

I graduated from college in May, and as most recent graduates know, the pressure is unimaginable to anyone who hasn’t been through it. At the beginning of my last semester at NYU, a switch flipped in my head, and only one demand repeated in my head, “FIND A JOB.” I even had that as the only task on the Momentum app on my computer. It was like everything was about the “next step.” Never in my life had I faced such uncertainty about my “next step.” I had always known that in high school that my job was to make good grades and be unbelievably involved in extracurriculars. That was the only way my train would stop at the next stop: a good college. Next stop: graduate from said college. While for me, the train made an extra stop at community college, the plan didn’t change. After getting my Associate’s degree, the next stop was still graduating from a four-year university.

But in January 2017, the train tracks were gone. I didn’t have a plan. I had no idea where my life was heading. I had thirty different ways of playing out the next part of my life and no telling which one would be the “right path.” Would I get a job? Would I go to grad school? Would I be able to stay in New York City? What would happen to my relationships with my friends and family? What would happen to my career if I chose the wrong step? My mind was consumed with questions just like these every minute of every hour of every day.

I spent nearly seven months of my life in mortal fear of my future with unadulterated disappointment in myself.

I probably applied to almost 500 jobs, and I promise that’s not an exaggeration. Out of those, I had maybe 50 interviews. And even after that, when I moved my tassel from right to left on the day of graduation, I didn’t have a job. I thought that after graduation, I would magically calm down and with great strategy and determination, figure out what to do with my life. But I didn’t calm down. The demands in my head were still on repeat.

I spent nearly seven months of my life in mortal fear of my future with unadulterated disappointment in myself. I missed my last semester of college. My body was in “fight or flight” mode the entire time. I wanted to know the ending of this chapter in my life so badly that I forgot about the rest of it.

If you like to skip to the end too, here’s a hint: I got a job, but those seven months left me mentally exhausted and emotionally raw. So I decided to start this blog, to start writing again. I decided that I want to be happy and to do the things that make me happy. I decided to not be a spectator in my own life. I decided to grow. This may not be quick, and it definitely won’t be easy, but my short 22 years have taught me one thing above all else: never give up. And I won’t.

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