“Forget where you want to live…”: A Conversation

“Forget where you want to live.” My advisor began our long overdue meeting that I have delayed constatnly out of fear of a conversation like this. Her piercing blue eyes make the firmest eye contact I have ever been exposed to.

“Forget that part. Tell me, where do you see yourself ten years from now?”

Well, somewhere good. Doing something good. I knew that question was going to be the premise of the meeting, hence the reason I have avoided meeting with my advisor to begin with.

It’s not like I have no clue what I want to do. However, I also know that things change. I know people grow from their shallow ideas of the world – or at least, I hope so. I also know that sometimes, plans, even those that seem to be made for something right around the corner, can (for one reason or the other) vanish. Therefore, I avoid such conversations. Outloud, anyways.

I started mumbling my way of what interests I have and how I’m still feeling my way around – having recently moved back (and experiencing a major culture shock, if I may add). She nodded and added a word or two of advice and encouragment, and I left the meeting with a good feeling.

But “forget where you want to live” walked out of the office with me. The conversation happened a few months ago, and here I am thinking of it now.

Before I graduated, the Dean of my faculty told me and a friend who was also moving half way across the world, “But you’re going to come back, right?” He grinned and looked at us from over the frame of his eyeglasses.

“Well, let us leave first,” I told him.

I wanted to go on a tangent and tell my advisor that “where I want to live” is a difficult choice, and unlike many people, I have the privilege to choose. I wanted to tell her that politics may also affect where I live. I wanted to tell her that I’m here to make another place she’s never been to a better place…in one aspect, at least.

Where I lived is in an unstable mess – always has been, I suppose – but for some reason, I feel what one of my dearest friend’s once told me on our way home from our university more than ever now that I am not there: “Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.”

I wonder, for how many generations have people said something along that line?

I also wonder, is there anyone out there who saw themselves ten years from where they were and actually ended up exactly according to their plan?

 

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