A few weeks ago, while sitting in a hostel room with my new friends Daisy and Jess, I received an email that blew up my life plan for the next year and a half. My new unfortunate reality: the teaching program I was set to participate in while in Colombia has been cancelled for this year.
As I am sure many other people have experienced, life likes to throw curveballs at times when you really can’t do anything about them, just to mess with your mind a little more. And since I really couldn’t do anything at 8pm on Halloween night, despite being fairly devastated and in complete shock, my new friends and I went out for drinks and I put off figuring out my life for a few days.
After 23 years on this earth, I pretty much view life and the world as a giant maze. And I am wondering around, trying to find the way out to the riches on the other side (history lesson: in greek mythology, those who made it out of the minotaur’s maze were rewarded by becoming the hero of the castle; in my maze, the other side is having a career I like, money and time to travel, and general happiness). Only, this maze is like a 21st century, high-tech, crazy-ass one with booby traps around every corner. In my imagination, this looks like the arenas in the Hunger Games where the game maker – eg Life – throws challenges at the ‘contestant’ – eg me – to make it more ‘fun.’ All while the greek gods sit in their leather reclining chairs up above, watching intently (I imagine they laugh at my [many] misadventures.) And as I was following the path labeled ‘Fun Year Teaching English In Colombia,’ life decided to set off a giant bomb, destroying the pathway and sending me running for my life Katniss-style, back to where I started.
So here I am, finally away from the detonation zone, sitting in a crossroads, treating my wounds and trying to figure out what I should do now. I could go back towards working in Colombia (avoiding the detonation zone by going through a different company and program this time. Downside – no matter what, I can’t start until March.) I could also possibly go with the same company on a different program to privately tutor students, but that just feels too close to the denotation zone for comfort…
As I am looking into how to travel down the Colombia path again, while circumnavigating the detonation zone, I see there is another, overgrown doorway leading to a pathway with an old and aged sign saying ‘Colombian Adventure Minus a Job.’ What would I do if I take this path? Take one or two months ‘living’ in Colombia, hanging out with my best friend in Bogota, exploring South America and perfecting my Spanish – only without having a job there….my wallet is screaming ‘Whhyyyyy?!?!?’ but the blown up bushes down the other path definitely have my brain thinking ‘hmmm…. Better plan? Maybe.’
And then one of the patron gifts comes flying down from the sky. While in Luxembourg, completely stressed out and attempting to figure out my life, I ran into a group of graduate students – half from King’s College in London, and the other half from the London School of Economics. As it turns out, the girls at King’s are studying exactly the type of thing I want to study in graduate school. And, unlike the other grad schools I had been looking at, King’s is only a one-year commitment with a very reasonable price tag.
Whoosh. A piece of the green wall in front of me goes flying down, revealing another pathway in my maze – “Masters in London.” And with this pathway, I can take a side route down to Colombia, while also getting to visit some friends around North America. My wallet and my savings are both now screaming ‘WHHHYYYYYY???? Nooooooooooooooooooo. Moonnneeeyyyyy.’ But my brain is thinking ‘You know, that really might be the best option.’
To be perfectly honest, I am still sitting at that crossroad. My wallet and savings are fighting with my brain, while my phone-a-friend style advisors (family, friends, random new friends I have met on my adventures) are leaning me more towards graduate school. And I keep getting patron gifts flying down from the sky that open little excursions along the different pathways. Plus: the situation in my home nation definitely doesn’t help (my heart is throwing its hat in the ring, arguing I should stay in the states and help with the rebellion against the racist/sexist/xenophobic policies sure to come out of our newly appointed white supremacy government).
So at this current point I really can’t say where I will be in 3 months. But the one thing I would like to announce is, since I now have no commitments until at least mid-march, my dear friends in Vancouver will get to see me for longer than originally planned. And I may need a job in Vancouver for January to May, if anyone knows of one! (I am sorry y’all, but there is absolutely no way in hell I’ll spend another summer in Vancouver. It is too damn cold there☃️😑 I’m not sure where yet, but I’m 100% sure I am flying south for the summer. It’s better for [what is left of] my sanity.)
Also, friends in NYC and DC, I am planning on visiting in early January! Before heading back to Vancouver. So message me if you would like to meet up!