Today was one of those days that rendered me completely unproductive. At least I have the excuse of being sick. So, between cooking dinner, making cookies, lounging around, watching re-runs and reading, my mom and I had a heart-to-heart about life choices. You see, the other day I started my study abroad application and it’s kind of freaking me out. As sure as I am that I want to study abroad and that I want to go to Sussex, the broader task of planning out my future is kind of overwhelming. Case in point: I just spent the last couple of hours researching the possible law and graduate schools I might want to attend. I sussed out what classes I want to take during the rest of my undergraduate work ages ago. The problem is, for all the time I spend meticulously planning my future, I can’t seem to put the effort in to making sure these future possibilities will happen. And I can’t help but feel that that’s maybe because I keep re-evaluating what I want to do with my life.
It all comes back to the most poignant lyric I’ve ever heard:
His goal in life is to be an echo.
That’s always resonated strongly with me. It’s my goal, too. Now when I question what I want to do, I fall back on that one simple line. My cousin asked today for the deeper meaning of it, and I couldn’t quite phrase it properly for her. It has to do with my desire to be remembered, to have made a difference during this life. It’s not that I want fame, because I don’t. Not at all. But I do want to have some lasting effect on society or someone once I’m not around any longer.
I want to be a photojournalist, regular journalist, translator, novelist, press secretary, proprietor of Spines & Crusts, lawyer, speechwriter? I can’t even keep track half the time. Arabic is proving much more difficult than I ever initially imagined. The last time I took a language it came naturally. I expected the same to be true. New language, new set of rules, huh? I think part of the challenge is the fact that this is the first time I’ve ever really needed to put effort into learning and that kind of scares the crap out of me. Because now I’m not just learning, I’m learning how to learn.
It seems like with the end of this school year Arabic and I might make our fond farewells. There will be plenty of time to evaluate that decision in the year off I will inevitably take from the language (partly because of the semester during which I’ll be abroad and partly because GW doesn’t offer the next level of Arabic I’ll need the following spring). That’ll be good for me, I figure. Let me sort some stuff out. I know I’m sticking with politics for the long haul, and media/communication as well. I think my focus will turn from the language aspect of Arabic towards national security and defense. But, hey, I’ve got plenty of time.
Listen well, and you’ll hear my aspirations: