I always thought I was very pragmatic in my life and my dreams. My dreams were always things that I was sure were not completely impossible, maybe I had to sweat a bit for them, but at the end – I was going to succeed in them. I never wanted to be an astronaut, a mathematician (which in my case is a lost cause) or a Nobel laureate (for the very same reason). I knew what my qualifications were, and I was enjoying them, dreaming about the days in which I will be able to pursue my modest desires.
As a child, I wanted to be a journalist. I had children’s interview dictaphone set and I was going around, interviewing all my relatives. Later, when I was realizing what journalism really is, Elena Yoncheva – a famous Bulgarian political reporter was my inspiration. I was fascinated by her bravery, as she was reporting from the most dangerous places in the world, writing history with her amazing interviews. I was imagining myself constantly traveling and meeting the most bizarre people, just like her. Telling the stories of the ones, that are unheard.
But soon my dream was discarded, as it intertwined with another one – my desire to study abroad. I found out that it is almost impossible to get my journalism education on the places I have chosen – not without knowing the local language.
Due to the created implications – I turned to my most beloved way to express myself – writing. I have been writing since I was twelve years old and my head was always full of stories, fictional characters and messages. I was creating my scenarios, short novels and articles. I always had an opinion to share, but not just verbally, it is even more beautiful in written text. You can always be a writer – no matter your educational background and experience, right?
Therefore, I picked a university and applied for the tourism and hospitality specialization with the naïve idea, that I will travel the world and write about my amazing journeys. A true Bilbo Baggins, writing “There and Back Again”.
But surprise, in this beautiful fantasy there is one piece missing – in tourism you work so other people can enjoy their travel, not the other way around.
Lost in my education, I never found the time to write. All the good ideas in my head were coming and going, but the time was never right. Lectures, parties, exams, preparations, internships, everything seemed to be in the way of my writing. The days were coming and going and with them passed also my passion. I feel like I have wasted a tremendous amount of my time trying to fit into the wrong role. To the point in which I forgot I was ever a writer. That I was ever myself.
So here I am, in my final semester, thinking how inadequate and unrealistic choices I have made my whole life. How naïvely was I seeing the world around me! I am crushed by my own, seemingly pragmatic dreams. In the end, I never wanted to be an actress, a model or a tv star. No, my life has thought me I need to be realistic.
But was I? In today’s life, it seems way easier than having a normal, creative and expressive job. Actually, it seems like all my ideas of what “real life” was and what is important were completely wrong.
Moreover, I never believed in existential crisis, because life is as easy as “Graduate and work on what you love.”. No doubt, no obstacles on the road. And here I am, in the deepest hole in my life. I realize this is not me, but it has been so long since I have been in my shoes, that I am not sure if they fit me anymore. Life is good at serving us irony.
I don’t want to give people an amazing experience in a seaside resort, I want to change their mentality, their life, their whole existence with the power of my words. Just like many authors have changed mine. So, what am I doing here?
My confusion goes deep beyond education and profession. There is something more beyond this. I have lost my meaning. My purpose. This is not all life has to offer.
I used to feel passion, a drive to create, to act and use my vivid imagination. Every project was making me feel happy and was inspiring my next one. I was lying in bed with hours before falling asleep, making up characters in my head and twisting their plots.
Now, I feel no passion, no love for what I do. I feel stress for the deadlines and annoyance of the listed tasks. Even in my sleepless nights, it seems as if I am drowning in a river of work and I am grasping for my last breath.
Losing my passion and losing myself seems to have stripped me of my strengths as well. How can you be proud of yourself, when there is no self to be proud of?
My realizations though have brought me more positives than negatives. This is a year in which I promise myself to be found. I promise myself to love. I promise passion. And I am sure I will find it. And every one of you, reading this and feeling lost – it is okay. It is okay to be lost, to feel empty and to be confused. And you are not the only one. Question your every insecurity, question your very beliefs. Sooner or later, questions lead to answers.