No Risk In Chasing the Dream


I have always imagined the moment I would finally be on my own. When I was a kid, I thought that as soon as I turned 18 I would burst through my parents’ front door and drive away in my car packed with my belongings, ready to live my own life. As I grew older, I realized that I needed more time under my family’s wing. Now as a 23 year-old, I am almost finally and officially out of the nest.

I like to explain the reason as to why I am choosing to move to Washington, D.C to start my adult life like this: If you are an actor, you go to Hollywood, California. If you are a singer, you want to go to a place like New York, New York. If you are a political scientist, you go to Washington, D.C.!

So here I am, planning my life in D.C. four hours away from the city in my hometown. At least this is not my first time out of my mom’s house; I lived in Radford, Virginia for four years while completing my B.S. in political science. However, my mom and dad were helping me tremendously with paying the bills at that time so I could focus on school. Graduation day came in May 2016 and went, but I still was not ready to be an adult quite yet.

After my time at Radford University, I decided to stall my commencement into full adulthood yet again by joining AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps. This volunteer program pays for your living situation, food, and provides you with a small stipend, and you get to work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency while traveling all over the U.S.A. I served for about 10 months.

Even though I may not have been paying many bills or living a “normal adult” lifestyle while being in FEMA Corps, I still grew up a lot. I met a guy who turned out to be the best friend I did not even know I was missing, and now we are going to be living together in D.C. I learned how to advocate for myself in the workplace more, what working in a federal agency is like, and my teamwork skills were greatly expanded. I also got to live in places I never would have before, like a Mennonite farm in East Atlanta or an abandoned school for the deaf and blind in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

A few days ago I received the email I have been waiting for stating that my boyfriend and I got approved for the apartment we wanted. Everything is starting to get real really fast. I have been fantasizing about this whole moving into the city thing for years, and now I am finally making it happen. I am pulling strings anywhere I can to make my dream happen.

I am one of those fortunate people who know what they want to do with their life. Since sophomore year of undergrad I have been dead set on attaining a career in human rights protection. What specific issues I have been interested in regarding human rights violations have changed many times, but the unquenchable passion I have for human rights law and research for many years now has pushed me to enroll in grad school classes at American University in D.C. Hopefully by 2019, I will have my M.A. in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs.

The trouble with all of this is the self-doubt I carry with me. What if I will not be able to handle a full-time job and attend three grad school classes at once? What if I budgeted wrong and really will not be able to afford my rent? I get in these dreadful funks sometimes, and I seriously consider moving to a cheaper city, deciding not to go to grad school yet, or some other drastic decision that may make my life easier but pushes me further away from accomplishing my goals.

I came across a quote that resonated with me and what I am trying to do with my life, “Realize that sleeping on a futon when you’re 30 is not the worst thing. You know what’s worse, sleeping in a king bed next to a wife you’re not really in love with but for some reason you married, and you got a couple kids, and you got a job you hate… There’s no risk when you go after a dream.There’s a tremendous amount to risk to playing it safe.”

As Millennials grow older, I already see some opting for the safer path of life. People I know from high school have already let the dream die; you know who those people are in your own circle. All I am trying to say is to fight tooth and nail to discover what your life calling is and to make it happen.  The eclectic story above is just a personal example of how I am constructing my own path to achieve my life goals.


Published on July 10, 2017 by Curious Caff


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