08 February 2012

Wednesday's Wonderings: Ah, the elusive future.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the future.  Probably too much time.  If there's one thing I struggle with, it's worrying.  But here are a few things that have been on my mind as of late.

What am I going to be when I grow up?  One would think that when you go to graduate school that you already have a pretty good idea of what that is.  Wrong.  Especially when you have two possible roads to travel down -- both of which could branch off in many different directions.  Here's what I know.  I do not, repeat, do not want to get a PhD in history.  My two years in graduate school will be enough for me.  I have a feeling that after my two years are up I will take a serious hiatus from academia.  Do I want to be a librarian?  Maybe.  I love helping people with their research -- so reference seems like a pretty good fit to me.  And I love college.  So who knows, maybe I'll end up a reference librarian in at a college somewhere.  Or do I want to be an archivist?  Since my freshman year of undergrad, this has been what I've wanted to do (minus that semester where I thought it would be cool to go to law school).  Through independent studies and internships I held firm.  Now I work in archive and I'm just not 100% sure.  I love politics and all things political.  Word on the street is that senators and members of Congress are starting to hire archivists as part of their staff.  This is definitely something to keep on the radar.  I couldn't think of a better job.  Or maybe I'll write a novel.  Who knows.

Isn't it funny how life never works out the way you planned?  Don't pretend that you didn't come up with a life plan in high school or college.  We all did it.  And let's just say that my life hasn't exactly gone according to plan.  If you would have told high school Hope that she would be in grad school in Indiana right now, she would have laughed.  Hard.  I wanted to be four years and done.  Teaching high school history and coaching basketball in my hometown.  And the funny thing is, that probably could have worked out.  High school Hope wanted to be getting married about now.  That one's definitely a laugh.  With no prospects on the horizon, it looks like I'll be stuck in the single lane for the foreseeable future.  And I'm okay with that.  Grad school takes up all my time any way.  I don't have time to deal with a boy right now.

Where will I end up/settle down?  I lived in the same town my entire life until I went to college.  And even then I was only 90 minutes away.  Somewhere around age 10 (I completely made up that age), I developed an any-where-but-here attitude.  In 4th grade I wanted to live in Alaska.  In high school in was the South.  In college, it was abroad.  It's something I've carried with me my entire life.   I love my home and I love my family, but I have had a chronic case of the wanderlust since I can remember.  Up until a couple days ago.  I was getting ready to head to campus for the day when I had one of those moments.  One of those strange moments of clarity where suddenly you know what you want to do with your life.  I can say with absolute certainty that when I finish grad school I want to move back to central Illinois.  It will always be home.  Don't get me wrong, I could still spend all my money traveling and that would make me the happiest person in the world.  But when I come home, I want it to be in the Land of Lincoln.

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