Monday, October 6, 2014

Just A Small Town Girl...

Dear Tazi:

I am just a small town girl, living in a lonely world, looking to take the midnight train going anywhere. I realize this sounds cliché, but it is true! I graduated high school last spring and, unlike all of my friends, I did not start college this school year. Rather, I went to work full-time over the summer (waitressing) and have been working ever since. I feel so stifled, like nothing is ever going to happen to me unless I make it happen!

I have been saving up my money - what I earned while in high school, as well as what I have earned working full-time - and I have a sizable sum set aside. My parents would like me to save it for when I do decide to return to school; but I would like to use the money to attend the school of life! I dream of moving to a big city to try and make my fortune, but I am not certain what I would do to make my fortune. I realize that waitressing will pay the bills where I live now, but in the big city I am going to need something more. I am not an actress, a model, a musician, or any other type of person you would usually find working as a waitress while trying to make it big; and I really have no idea what I want to do with my life, besides moving beyond my current surroundings. I guess I am just restless, and tired of waiting for my future to arrive.

Ready To Make A Journey

Dear Ready To Make a Journey:

I can understand why you feel that nothing will ever happen to you unless you make it happen - because for the most part, this is one of life's great truisms. For example, nobody can force you to go to school to train for a career, or even a better-paying job - that you must do yourself; and nobody can force you to stay in your small hometown when you would rather move to the big city.

You say you would like to educate yourself by attending the "school of life", but it appears that at this point a move to the big city would result in your attendance in the school of hard-knocks. From the tone of your letter, I will risk saying that it sounds like you do not have well-researched, viable plans for employment (which is scarce in many areas of the country right now); career training; and a living space that will balance your personal needs with your available finances (I do not recommend that you deplete your savings!). Therefore, I would suggest that you stay where you are for now and work on developing such plans, and in six months or so revisit the idea of moving (perhaps by then, you will have decided which big city is the one for you).

In the meantime, come January, a new college semester will start. I suggest that you check out the course catalogs at your state's local community college(s) and see if there is anything that sounds interesting to you – many a student has found (or changed) their career path after developing an interest in something that they discovered through coursework. Some creative options are writing, photography, or makeup artistry. Some economically practical options are Intro. to Business Management, Marketing, or Bookkeeping. There are endless possibilities, all of which will increase your professional skills and broaden your scope of the world around you; without requiring you to take an unprepared leap into the unknown.

Always remember that if we do not take risks, we may live a safe life; but it may not be the life we seek to live. On the other hand, if we leap without having any idea where we will land, the results may be equally unpleasant. Balance is key.


P.S. Short, one to three day trips to various big cities can give you an idea of what these places are like before you choose to move there. I have yet to meet someone who regretted traveling; but I have met many who regretted moving to a place they had never actually visited!

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