Why I Decided To Take A Delayed Gap year
Get a college degree, they said. Work hard to get a good career, they said. Your life will be so much better because of it, they said.
I followed this formula and sooner than I had anticipated, I had achieved all of these things. I had done everything I was 'supposed' to do, but then I was left with the question: What now?
I was fortunate in my career to work closely with several levels of superiors and get a glimpse of what the next milestones looked like. After some one on one conversations with these individuals about their careers I felt like I’d been gypped! SWINDLED! HOODWINKED! The promising career that I’d been told to aspire to seemed to be no more than a carrot on a stick. I don’t even like carrots!
I had done it ‘their’ way. It’s only fair for me to try it my way.
Although, I felt a sense of accomplishment in my career, I didn't feel the fulfillment I thought I would. My enjoyment comes from achieving, experiencing new things and learning. So, what is a girl to do? I didn’t want to go further down a path that I was unsure about. I also didn’t want to set up camp and stay where I was because I've got serious FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
I thought back on the first part of my twenties and thought “I wish I had done ‘XY and Z’ differently”. Then I started to question myself as to why I couldn’t do ‘XY and Z’ now? I argued myself around in circles about whether or not to take the plunge. I was teetering on the edge of (in)decision when I suddenly realized (figuratively) that I was wearing a parachute, which are 99.9% effective.
I was able bodied young single college graduate with a network of family and friends. My biggest fear: Being homeless and destitute was highly unlikely. And worst-case scenario, I would be on someone’s couch starting over. Which, by the way, I have already done—twice before. So with fears rationalized, I packed my bags and set off abroad.
I had done it ‘their’ way. It’s only fair for me to try it my way. If ever this ‘wandering’ life is too much or me and I need more stability, a career will always be there. The opportunity I have right now is once in a life time. So, I decided to take a gap year (as a start) to pursue my own adventure. When I am old and sitting on my porch in a rocking chair I will have memories, not regrets, to recount.