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Posts Tagged ‘passions’

I came across this video a few days ago, and put it aside for later blogging (it’s been a busy few days!).  But as it’s making its rounds across the rest of the internet, I decided I better write up my thoughts quickly. So here I am.

I was really content to have seen this video. It really touches on a few thoughts I’ve been having over the past year. The past year, I graduated from high school. In the last year of school, there is an immeasurable amount of pressure pushing down on you to decide. Decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. Make a plan. Have a plan. Many of my teachers said that successful people are the ones that make a plan and stick with it. And sure, that can definitely be true. That’s what we’re really raised to do our whole life, right? That’s why our parents sent us to school. That’s why we’ll send our kids to school.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I still don’t. And I’m okay with that. I don’t want to pick something. I feel like that’s giving up part of my life. “We go to school, to go to school.” It’s something I’ve said quite a few times. We go to school, so we can acquire an education, in order to attend post-secondary (or at least we’re encouraged to), so we can get a higher-paying job, and have an educated life. But what does that come with? That comes with being tied down. With commitments. Submitting yourself to one way of life. Too late to do those things you’ve always wanted to do. Giving up your dreams.

Call me an optimist, but I really do think anything is possible. And I really do think anyone can achieve their dreams, given enough motivation and work put towards it.

I’ve always wanted to travel. Always. So have a lot of my friends. They’re going to post-secondary right now. They say they’ll travel after they’re done. But I say, When? When will you find the time and money for that? You will need to pay back student loans. How? By getting that job you’ve been working towards. And soon you become rooted in this way of life.

I’m not saying I don’t believe in sending kids to high school. I’m not saying I’ll never go to university. I’m saying, right now, I don’t want that. It is not what I desire. I want to live. I want to travel, and experience culture, and see the world that I live in. I want to meet people and see how they live. I don’t want to spend my whole life in one society.

My mom is really pushing me to go to university when I’m back in Canada. She is really pushing me to apply for this full time secretarial (or something or other) summer job I do not want. She’s been telling me for years, when I graduate, that I will work there and then go to university. Her friend’s daughters worked there and paid off their entire student fees. But that’s not what I want. I’ve had friends that worked there, too. They gave up their entire summer to terrible work and terrible working conditions. They hated it. They never got to see anyone. Sure, they made all the money they needed. To go to the universities into areas of work they weren’t even sure of[1].

I understand my mother wants me to have more money than she did, to not have to be struggling financially my entire life. But I think that is sacrificing my happiness. And I think happiness is the most important thing in the world. I will do what makes me happy. Money has never been a factor for me. I will go to university if I ever find something I want to do that requires it. But I will not go there for her, and waste the little money I have, taking courses that don’t interest me.

Next year, I am travelling continental Europe with my best friend. It’s been a plan for years. My mother thinks it’s a bad idea; that it’s a terrible idea to not go to university right after high school (“and get a good education, to get a good job, to get more money,” etc….

Here’s a quote from the video:

“…if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living – that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing! Which is stupid! Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

So here’s my current life plan.

1. Complete my Polish Immersion classes, and graduate from the program with the Certificate.

2. Come back to Canada. Get a couple part-time jobs (until #3).

3. Come February 2014, Paige and I will go off to Greece and start our Europe trip.

4. July 2014, I will come back to Canada.

5. Find happiness everywhere.

Lately (lately being the past month), I’ve really been having serious thoughts about my future. Because I just can’t see it. I don’t know where I’ll be. What I’ll be doing. Maybe it will be something near Terrace, or in BC. Or maybe I’ll be giving tours in Polish across the world. Or maybe teaching English somewhere. Or wing-suit flying professionally. Or a missionary. Or maybe living the life of a travel writer. Who knows. I just know I’ll never make a decision that won’t make me happy, that won’t work towards one of my goals. I’ve always been someone that works towards my goals, whether it was my dream of skydiving[2] or travelling Europe[3]. Maybe when I’m back from Europe in 2014, I’ll know a little bit better what I want to do. For now, I’m content with dreaming of my travel plans, and thinking of writing ideas.

Another thought I’ve been having the past couple weeks is, What do I really want? I know I want to travel. I want to see the world. I want to be a writer. But I also came to the conclusion that I don’t want to be wasting my time. I’m in Poland right now. In a beautiful city. I want to be exploring it. I want to be taking advantage of what this city has to offer. And first I need to find that. The first couple weeks that I was here, I was living it up in my new internet connection. Basically, wasting a lot of time. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to be exploring my surroundings constantly. I don’t want to be wasting time because there is always something to see, and always something to do.

In conclusion. I think we should do what we truly want to be doing. What makes us happy. Don’t wait. And never forget.

Joanna


[1] Some of them anyways. Some people know what they want to do, and how they want to get there. And when you’re that person, that’s awesome.

[2] That was summer ’11 by the way.

[3] Euro-trip 2013!

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I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I had grown up in Poland, if my parents hadn’t moved away from the communism that, to the shock of the everyone, ended only months after they left. Who would I be? How influenced would I be by my family, how conservative? Would I have stayed shy, that person that never did anything outside her comfort zone, and outside the Catholic church’s beliefs? Because I once was that person, as hard as that is to believe for some. Would I not be my blunt, adventurous self? Would I still have the same interests, the same sense of humour? Would I still be just as passionate about travelling and other cultures?

Travelling. It is honestly the thing I love most in the world, the thing I want to do for the rest of my life. I try to think back and pinpoint the moment I fell in love with travelling. But I’m not sure when it happened. I feel like it’s always been there, part of my life, my mindset. I had grown up knowing my family connection was across the ocean on another continent, I had heard plenty of times of my parent’s “fresh start” in the foreign country of Canada, and how prior to that my mom lived in Germany for a year, Spain for two, and my dad in Alaska for 3 years during that time, while they waited for the papers for Canada to get through. And my dad. He’s always been a traveler. His early occupations took him across the globe and I’ve heard memory after memory from his adventures country to country. I remember how he once counted to forty-three countries he had visited[1] and was unable to remember the rest. When I was five I traveled for my first time to Poland. I may not have understood much of what was happening at the time or what Poland was, just this far away place where my parents were from. I still remember the split second of being scared before meeting my grandparents for the first time, not remembering their existence when they long knew of mine and awaited the first time they got to meet me. They were strangers to me[2]. And yet, that first trip to Poland was the first installment of the feeling of travel. My understanding of the world, recognition of its size, variety of people, and cultures grew as I did, this drive to know more about the world and all it had to offer. Travelling just became a dream.

I can picture a different life that would be mine if my parents had stayed in Poland, I can picture the family connections and holiday time we could have shared, of summer orchards and apple trees that my mother often spoke of, of small trips to visit the different regions of Poland, city streets to hillsides in a half hour’s time. I can picture myself there. I can picture that life, but I can’t picture that person, that mind. A different set of memories, of upbringing. I can’t picture my life without the people that have impacted this one. I know that, wherever you are born, wherever you live, you find your niche, you find people that touch you and a home that becomes a part of you forever. If my parents had moved to Australia[3], I would’ve found my home there. If my parents had stayed in Poland, I would have found my circle there. But they moved to Terrace, BC and that is where my life is, my friends, and most of everything that means something to me, and I can’t picture myself without the past that I have[4].

To get off that cliché ending, I’ve been realizing more and more that I move on from things fast. People. Feelings. Places. Connections. I don’t know if it’s that I can easily detach myself from something and move on, or because I never have that strong attachment in the first place. I want to argue for the former, because the second sounds unpleasant a quality. One way or the other, I think it’s a good thing for me. To have no attachments that can hold me down from what I want to do, and where I want to go[5].

I was thinking of that because it’s now been a month to the day since I left, and I still feel good about things. Sure, I miss some aspects of home, friends, and family, but not to the extent I thought I would. I know I’ll be back, and it doesn’t bother me that I’m gone now, for however long it is, nor does it bother me that I’ll likely be gone again for much longer. This is the way to go.[6]

Joanna


[1] Only counting the ones he had stayed in for at least a week where he had seen some of the country.

[2] I also have this dim recollection of having a fear of the elderly when I was little.

[3] Which was plan A.

[4] This is why I sometimes wish we could live more than one life. Just to see.

[5] I think this quality also ties in with my quality of not being able to commit to anything very well. Discussion for another day.

[6] There’s still a lot of time for me to start missing home, but for the time being, I am happy where I am and with how I’m feeling.

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