I have been thinking so much about my future recently. Where I’m gonna be, what I’m gonna be doing, who is gonna be in my life. And it’s been stressing me out. Even thought I still have over 3 years left in the military, which sounds like plenty of time to figure things out, it’s really not that much time at all. Looking back to when I first joined the AF, 6 years felt like FOREVER. And now I am almost half way through my enlistment! Crazy. It is freakin crazy how quickly life moves.
“It’s funny how day by day, nothing changes. But when you look back, everything is different.”
I have always struggled with figuring out what I want to do with my life. That’s honestly the entire reason I joined the Air Force. During my senior year of high school I went back and forth for weeks about whether I was going to go to college or join the military. Originally I was set on college. I applied to schools, retook my SATs, did tons of research. And then I woke up one day and thought, “LOL no way am I going to college.” I love learning but I hate school and I hate studying. I had absolutely no freakin idea what I would want to study, get a degree in, or the kind of career I would want to pursue. So here I am, in the Air Force.
Now I’m stuck in the situation where I’m half way through my enlistment and currently, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to stay in longer than my 6 years. I really do genuinely enjoy being an x-ray tech and for the past year or so I have planned on doing x-ray on the civilian side as well. I’m still working towards that, and I don’t think I would have any problems with that! But I feel like everything up until now has kind of been chosen for me. Yes, I choose to join the Air Force but my job was picked for me and where I am living was picked for me.
I have also always struggled with finding what I am passionate about. My “calling in life”. Yes, I love running. Yes, I love writing. Yes, I love photographing the sky, Yes, I love promoting happiness and positivity. But what am I driven by? What motivates me? What makes me burst with passion? What do I want to spend my time and energy doing for the rest of my life?! I DON’T KNOW! And it’s so frustrating.
Another thing I have also struggled with for a long time is feeling like I am running out of time. I joined the Air Force right after highschool because I wanted to get my life started. I wanted to get a job, move out on my own, support myself fully. I’ve had this idea in my head that I need to find a spouse, get married, start a family by the time I’m 25. Part of my still wants that, but part of me doesn’t. I am trying to remind myself that I have time, there is enough time!
I am awful at finding balance. I am always on one end of the spectrum or the other. There is no in between.
So now, here I am. 21 years old, half way through my enlistment and still trying to figure out my life. I recently started listening to this podcast called “Let’s Not Panic” about this couple who quit their jobs and embarked on a journey traveling from San Fransisco to Houston where they shipped their car out and are going to travel through South America. And it has really got me thinking.
I love traveling and adventures. I’ve never done anything crazy but I’ve always wanted to. I’ve never planned an amazing trip and pursued it, but I’ve always wanted to… even though I’ve always been scared to do it alone.
I will only be 24 when I’m able to get out of the AF which is still so young! I have seriously been thinking about taking 6 months or a year off and traveling. And I know this has only been on my mind for two-ish weeks (Like I said, I am bad at balance. Once I get an idea in my head I start obsessing over it until I do it, or decided it’s not what I want) but a ton of planning would have to go into any kind of trip. And saving of course. But I think it would be an experience of a lifetime and something that would only bring positivity into my life. Traveling the world, whether alone or with someone else, or even a group of people is so important. You learn so much about yourself and your surrounds and the culture of wherever you are. Traveling is an experience and something everybody should experience in their lifetime.
I have no idea where I will be in the next 3-5 years. I may be married with a family. I may be a single mother. I may just be single. I have no idea who will be in my life at that time. What I will want to do career wise. Where I will be living. And that scares me, makes me anxious, stresses me out. I am not good without the unknown, I don’t like not having any answers.
But I am trying to let the unknown excited me, motivate me, and push me further into discovering myself instead of letting it freak me out. I know that will definitely be challenging for me, as change does not come easy. Although it’s been a major part of my life literally since the day I was born. It’ll be a learning experience and a long process but I know it will all be worth it. I just hope at the end of the day, when I am so old and wrinkly that I look back at my life and know I didn’t just go through the motions but lived a life of meaning.