Around May/June I suddenly started asking myself, what will I do next? Where will I be at this point next year? What am I doing with my life?
These and other questions started a snowball effect, leading into my anxiety about the future.
This worry extended into the summer months, lingering in the back of my sleeping mind, pulsing through each morning’s wake, and manifesting as a never-ending, throbbing headache.
I couldn’t take it. Decisions needed to be made and they had to be made sooner than later, otherwise I would find myself in the same place again in a year from now, wandering down different possible future paths.
So finally, I’ve decided it’s time for me to leave Hong Kong and go home.
I’ve fought going back to the U.S. for a long time – friends from home have even told me it’s better for me to remain living abroad and friends from Hong Kong have pulled me back, trying to convince me to stay a bit longer. And to be honest, I’m a bit apprehensive of returning home and experiencing reverse culture shock.
I’ve gone from place to place for the past 3 years. Even though I’ve planted myself in Hong Kong, I never felt as though it was where I was meant to stay. And that’s something that that I continually contemplate – will I ever find a place that feels permanent?
Despite the mental and physical movement of my thoughts, the beginning of September marks a stillness. It acknowledges an unspoken end of summertime; kids return to school; we start wearing heavier clothing; mornings are cool and nights even cooler. September also reminds us that the year is more than halfway through.
Come October, I’ll have been out of college and away from home for 3 years of adulthood.
My best friend and I often reminisce about college, the times that we hung out and joked around, felt okay with being lazy and essentially doing nothing. But now when we do that, it feels like we’re wasting time, like we should be doing something else, and that free time is never really deserved. If I stop for a moment’s rest, I begin to feel guilty. Is that normal?
My friend joked that this year is ‘like junior year of real life.’
Which makes me wonder, when is graduation?