Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quarter-Life Crisis!!!

The other day I posted on Facebook that I was having a crisis in which I couldn't decide what to do with my life. Since I never update my status with anything serious, I thought people would recognize that I was exaggerating a bit. But then my friend Christa told me that it actually sounded pretty serious. So if any of the three people that read my blog also saw that post, know that I am fine. I'm not on the verge of shaving my head or joining the Peace Corps or anything. Actually the Peace Corps may not be a bad idea...

Despite being "fine," I do turn 25 next month. Don't tell me it's not that old. It kind of feels like a big deal to me. And although my reflections on what to do with my life were not inspired by my impending birthday, they are getting exasperated by it. So let's backtrack about 8 months. I was working as a diet clerk, with no expectation that a dietitian job was going to be coming my way anytime soon. I started researching international volunteer opportunities (something I have done about 5 times before in my life) and found a great program in Tanzania. So I think about it, have a few arguments with my dad, and decide to go for it. I submit an application and deposit, and start planning to go this fall. Almost immediately my current job becomes available, and I know I can't let that pass me by. But Tanzania can be deferred. So I take my current job and defer my program. I can defer for up to a year with my current deposit. Which means I have until September 2012 to go. So it's been something I've been mulling over in the back of my mind whilst loving my new job.

When I go to Tanzania, I will hike this mountain.
Fast-forward back to present time. I really like my new job. And I love my friends here in Vancouver. But I am living with my parents (not so bad, but, you know, there's a stigma, need to take care of myself, spread my wings, teased by my siblings, etc) and I feel a little stagnant. I miss having a big goal to be working towards. College degree! Internship! Job! Now what? (Don't say marriage. You'll be dis-invited from my blog). I have always been fascinated by global health, especially the hunger problem throughout the world. I have no experience in this area, but a big part of me feels my dream job would be to work with a program that promotes sustainable solutions to the problem of hunger and malnutrition in impoverished areas of the world. But I really have no idea what I'm talking about because I've always lived in middle-class suburbia and I've never even left the country (Wait. I've just decided how I'm going to celebrate my 25th birthday. Watch out, Canada. I'll be coming soon!). So that is the great thing about this volunteer program: I give  2-3 months of my time and hopefully know if it is something I want to continue to pursue before I decide on grad school.

So that is the nature of my current crisis. Do I go to Tanzania? When do I go? Can I earn enough money by then (got to have enough to make car payments while I'm gone)? Fortunately, my job as it is currently won't be an issue. Since I am relief and receive no benefits, I just have to ask them not to schedule me for a few months. At least that makes it easy.

Oh, and I will be dying my hair as my official "quarter-life crisis." Stay-tuned. I might post pictures. But I make no promises.

(ps. I realize I make frequent use of parenthesizes. I have decided to make the text within smaller for your reading convenience.)