Sometimes I enjoy the randomness that is the Internet, as it sometimes brings me such wonderful items as this beautiful video essay, “Me, My Friends, and a lot of People I’ve Never Met.” It’s only 2 minutes, so I hope you can watch it. The thesis is that young people (like me) don’t want to settle down, but we must some day recognize that, “Life isn’t long enough to exercise every ambition.”
Now as someone over three years removed from college graduation who started in the what one might call the “workforce” and who is now doing something that will end just before Thanksgiving, the idea of settling down is one I think about somewhat often. I also want to not believe that I can’t follow through on all my ambitions, but I wonder if that might be a true statement. David Gillette, the essay’s cartoonist and author, mentions college graduates who have no idea what they want to do with their life, which in some ways I can relate to for myself, but in many other ways it’s more that there is so much I want to do with my life it’s hard to figure out where to start and for how long I should work in certain areas.
I do hope to establish myself in a place where I can build lasting relationships with people geographically close to me instead of building relationships and then me or them moving. I long for a chance to feel a part of a community without having a certain end date from which I will be removed from it. But it’s hard, too, as I want to explore the country and world, and I don’t necessarily want to “fall for” some location that might then keep me away from other things I want to do it my life or extremely far from those I love (my mom wouldn’t like if I settled down in Kenya, for example, or even San Francisco).
But I also keep going back to the idea of location, relation, and vocation. There will, eventually, be something to ground me, and then it’s likely that the other areas of my life will “fall into place,” too. But is that my goal right now? Just as much as I’d like to be a part of a community, I’d also enjoy a wife and family and a career/job that I can call my own and feel fulfilled in as I help and support others and the world, but when will that happen, and is that what I should be actively seeking at my current state?
Will it be a conscious decision for me to settle down, or will it be more like quicksand that slowly eats me up until I’m chained to something, whether I like it or not? I hope that it’s more a combination of being pulled into something or someone that I enjoy and love and making the choice to do so, so that when I have that connection, it’s truly a thing of beauty.