When I was little, I had odd ideas about what I wanted to do in the future. The first career idea that I remember telling anyone was architect. Then, over time, that evolved into wanting to be an architect and an interior designer. I also wanted to be a teacher, so at some point it became an architect, interior designer, and English teacher.
That combination stuck for a while and I repeated the combination dutifully to adults time and time again. By the time I was in high school thought, the architect idea had faded away, interior design seemed like a dead-end, and being an English teacher was what everyone expected out of me.
I have this pet peeve about expectations: I just do not feel the need to fulfill them when they are so much dependent upon what others want rather than me. Plus, why put clout in expectations when you know best whether you are capable or not?
At some point, I became adamant that anything to do with English was not where my life was headed. Despite my A’s in AP English and various Journalism classes, and a general enjoyment of writing, I blatantly refused to acknowledge the idea of going the obvious route and completing an English degree after graduation.
I swear, everyone thought I was out of my mind. Apparently my teachers and parents had a pet peeve too–something about wasting talent, but I never saw what talent they were referring to so I cast them aside as not knowing me well enough. It makes my heart sing now to know that someone noticed something special about what I could do.
In the start of my first year of college, when I was stuck in a Baptist college that held a student mold that I just did not fit into, I decided that military service was going to be part of my future. I had always been so proud of my father for serving in the Army–I had thought over and over about the military for myself–but I thought my parents would hate me for the idea of it.
Obviously, I dismissed that worry because the idea stuck for a while. I started working out, memorized rank tables for every branch of service, considered the Naval Academy, talked to recruiters, and went completely insane over the idea of serving.
Sometime between then and now I decided that an engineering, business, technology, or science-related degree would look best to the U.S. Navy, so I changed my major three separate times to different degrees in that realm. If any of you know me at all, you can see why none of those was strong enough to stuck.
Sure, sometimes I wanted to make myself a good prospective Naval Officer, and I wanted to get the degree that my older brother never got, but, be real. As I am now, can anyone see me running logistics on a computer or conducting a business meeting?
Now, in what should be the spring of my sophomore year but is actually the spring of my senior year, I am an English major, and everyone keeps asking me how in the world I ventured so far from this major just to come right back.
To me, it is a complete surprise to be pursuing this degree now, yet it feels somehow right. I never saw myself being an English major, doing English major things, and being so close to graduation already. Really, I should have seen in coming though! I have two settings when I really like something: I obsess over it or I completely avoid it. This just happened to fall into the avoidance sector.
I have no idea what I will end up doing after university as far as a career but, if the journey to figuring that out is as twisted and winding as the path to truly being an English major, then I am sure it will end up being an odd and eventful sequel.
I guess what John Lennon said is right: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”