Three tugs

Now that I’m home after a whirlwind summer in Chicago, I feel as if I’m being tugged in three different directions – the past, present and future – more strongly than ever.

How have you managed the way the three cardinal directions of life affect the way you live?

Past

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Coming back to my hometown is always interesting. Since college I’ve become accustomed to walking and bussing it everywhere I need to go, so being in a place where a car is necessary to do almost anything feels somewhat confining. The town where I grew up is small, suburban and vanilla. It has its charms, especially for people looking to escape the rush and noise of city life – like my parents were when they moved here in the ‘90s – but that rush and noise is exactly what I crave. Being here makes me realize, just like that one quote says, even though the town and people here seem so different from before, it is really I that have changed. The past is, at times, stifling.

Are you ever overwhelmed by your past? Scared you’ll revert or regress back to a previous version of yourself, just to fit into your surroundings?

Present

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After a summer of more work and less play I couldn’t be more excited for my last year of college. After hearing the same words repeated by countless people, I’ve got it through my head that I need to make the most of this year for all that it is: One last year to soak up the joy of few real responsibilities, the company of friends I will be unlikely to see as often after graduation, and an opportunity to prove myself one last time before I enter the work world. The present is exciting.

What are you most excited about in your daily life? What things make you jump out of bed in the morning, and fall asleep content at night?

Future

[photo cred]

As I mentioned before, this summer involved work. Real-world work. My experiences in an agency setting have taught me a lot, but also left me with some things to think about. What is the best path for me after graduation? I am taking what my superiors and co-workers have said at face value, but am also listening to my inner voice. Life is short – where would my first years in the real world be best spent – a large agency, a small start-up, or somewhere in between? I’m excited and anxious to meditate on these thoughts that are sure to linger for the next few months. Whatever path I end up on, I know one thing – I want to start in Chicago! I fell in love with that city this summer, and so it seems fitting to start there. The future is beckoning.

Have you ever found yourself living for the future? How have you found success managing to value each present day while still working toward goals in the future?

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