When people take a year off from school to travel, they do it so reorient themselves by doing mostly what they enjoy. Keeping down the stress, keeping down the anxiety. I remember when I was ranting about the things that I’m worried about to a friend in Peru and he was quite surprised that I had so much built up anxiety in me for a traveller. Everyone has their issues, but travellers should be enjoying their time.
For these past few days, my anxiety has been growing exponentially. I’ve identified indecisiveness as one of the core contributors to my anxiety, which is a start to figuring out how to deal with it, but at the same time, I just can’t control my indecisiveness. I’m at this crossroad of life right now where I’m faced with a lot of life-changing decisions. When any one of these decisions can steer your life in a dramatic and unchangeable way, how can I relax and not take the time to think about things?
My anxiety stems from my desire to become a more accomplished and happier individual. It’s somewhat paradoxical that in order for me to achieve my definition of happiness, I must go through with this anxiety. And it’s not that I don’t enjoy the things I have to do in order to get there, it’s the problem of time that generates these uneasy feelings. Time is everything in this world. It’s the most valuable resource. For me, I have about 7 and half months left of my year off. No matter how determined I am to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself, I need time to accomplish them, and by the time I’m on my way to accomplishing a goal, it’s already too late to reap the benefits for the timeframe that I intend to use the benefits for. For example, I am currently studying economics in hopes of tapping into understanding international politics, public policy, and investment. First of all, understanding how decisions are made by national governing bodies will make me a little less clueless about how the world functions, satiating a personal goal of becoming a more knowledgeable citizen of the world (a corollary being being able to make educated decisions as a citizen voting for the right candidate, or as someone who works in politics that has the decision-making power to affect lives of many). But more concretely, knowing this stuff will be beneficial in seeking for/working at a job or internship in the field of economics, political science or any other related field where this knowledge could be applied. I’m still studying the basics of economics, but I need to apply for summer internships now. I need to understand now so I could have the confidence to apply for these positions, knowing that despite my lack of formal post-secondary education, I have the knowledge base to make myself useful. But time restricts me.
Even though I’ve taken a different path from most of the people I know personally, which means I’ve allowed myself to pursue my goals differently, my ambitions are keeping me in a goddamn catchup. Let me clear my mind a bit right now and state that I’m not a first-year student. I will pursue my interests, but I shan’t measure my success against that of a first-year student because it’s a win-lose situation. Their education is structured with clearly defined milestones of success, and I define my own milestones. It doesn’t make sense to be basing my milestones on theirs, because we’re not on the same path. Provided the same resources, a comparison is fair, but in this situation, I’m only generating pressure for myself.
— Took a break from the post here. I’m feeling a little less anxiety-ridden now with this self-affirmation. Now let me dissect the other specific things causing me anxiety.
It starts with my travel itinerary.
This has changed a few times since I first started planning my trip last summer. If I’d gone along with my initial itinerary, I would be in Uganda right now. After a lot of contemplation, to the delight of some of my family members and friends, I decided to put Uganda off until perhaps later this year. I don’t feel like elaborating on this decision at the moment, but in a nutshell, I finally convinced myself that I can afford to put Uganda off because I decided that working on starting a business is a worthy tradeoff. I thought a month or two would be an adequate timespan for me to get started with the business. Afterwards, I can continue travelling for a while before I head off to China for my internship. I was really excited by the prospect of going backpacking ‘officially’ and visiting Southeast Asia for the first time. But now that’s looking unlikely.
First, finances. A principal developer of my anxiety. The reason I want to begin constructing a business now is so that I can begin to make financial contributions to this family and to be able to have the means to realize my own wants and desires, whether it be for matters related to travel, post-secondary education, business, or what else. In relation to my travelling plans this time around, I’ve checked the cost of plane tickets to Thailand and to Shanghai, and of course, it would be cheaper to travel to China directly than to go backpacking in Southeast Asia first. How do I weigh my opportunity costs? I could still push to go travel through Southeast Asia, because despite the option of making the detour through Southeast Asia prior to flying to Shanghai being more expensive than the option of going directly to Shanghai, I know I could control my cost of travelling throughout Southeast Asia to amount to about the same or even less than what I’d spend living in China or Canada. I definitely could, if it were not for this next thing.
I met someone in Peru. We’d discussed our separate desires to travel to China in 2013 while I was still in Peru. He wanted to go for business, and I was set on going for my internship. At the time, I knew I definitely wanted to meet him in China if we were going to be there at the same time, but I wasn’t sure about what he wanted. I mean, as a side note here, I am pretty good at taking hints, but I’ve always dissolved those thoughts to avoid disappointment in the event that I’m wrong. I opt for solid, direct, primary source verification. So anyway, I got the hint that he wanted to see me there too when we first discussed it in Peru, but it wasn’t until yesterday when we talked seriously about him going to China that he relayed to me (and so confirmed what I’d hoped for) that one of the reasons he wants to go to China is so that he would be able to see me again. Damn, cute.
Because he only has until the end of March to travel, if I want to meet him in China, I will have to depart for China either some time in February or at the beginning of March. This means no Southeast Asia. I’d love to explore Southeast Asia, but right now, as much as I hate to admit it and how insane, naive, or stereotypically this may sound in the way of how teenagers think, he really is more important to me… God damn it this makes me sound whipped, but oh well, I shouldn’t need to justify it to strangers on the internet, so let it be.
So then, when will I actually depart for Shanghai? Beginning of February, mid-February, end of the month? At every step of my decision making process I’m weighing my options. If I go at the beginning of the month, that’s not going to give me a lot of time to commence my business here and to study Chinese, but on the other hand, I can potentially find a job in China and make some money before my internship starts. Then, when should I start my internship? Right now it’s set for the beginning of April, but if I’m going to be in China earlier, perhaps I should ask if I could begin in March? In that case, I can partake in internship and other opportunities that commence in June. But would that drastically limit the amount of time I can spend with Peruguy? How would taking on a part-time job at the same time work out? Would it be too cold if I go at the beginning of February? Perhaps beginning of March would be better? On the other hand, if I go earlier, I can orient myself to the attractions in Shanghai (since I’ll have to be the main tour guide for Peruguy) and make the most out of both of our time there (and to prove to him that Shanghai is damn awesome).
From writing this, it looks like it would be the best idea to depart for China as soon as possible. The major drawbacks of doing that would be that I’ll have less time for the business before I depart and I’ll have less time to improve my Chinese. But in that case, perhaps I can make somewhat of a compromise and depart in 2-3 weeks. I’ll have a little bit of time to sort some things out in regards to the business, and I guess I’ll just have to study Chinese intensively for the next few weeks. That could work. Sorting my thoughts out via blogpost working as I’d hoped, woohoo.
I think that accounts for most of what I was frustrated about tonight, and so I’ll stop writing for now and go get some rest like normal people. Goodnight people.
Tonight meditation also did me quite well. I’m going to aim to incorporate meditation into my daily life.
Whatever the case may be, I wish I could’ve spent more time with you.
hurting people I care about the most
anoche yo bebí tanto que yo vomité en el piso en mi cuarto. eso fue la primera vez. curiosamente, de alguna manera, yo pude poner mi electrónicos al lado de mi almohada, pero yo si hice algunas cosas estúpidos. en este momento, no me importa no más. no sé que haré conmigo. estoy realmente decepcionada con todo que yo soy.
I don’t need to please anyone but myself
I don’t need to fulfill anything but my own goals
I want to be my best
it doesn’t matter who doubts me
I know myself best
I don’t need anything but self-confidence in my own abilities
the key is understanding the value of time
the key is perseverance
that’s all I need
hell, I’m already on my way
Fortunately, I rarely come across any assholes, but occasionally, there’s that guy. What’s the point of making passive aggressive and/or judgmental remarks while we’re having a conversation? While we’re giving each other minutes of our lives to speak to each other? What the fuck? What is logic? If you’re having a shit day, why the fuck are you ripping on me if I had nothing to do with it? Does it make you feel better? Funnily enough, I can probably take it if you give me some indication that you’re having a bad day, or even better, tell me right off of the bat. You don’t even need to apologize for your behaviour. You want to be an asshole, fine. But what the fuck is with completely uncalled for remarks? Or remarks you pretty damn well know hits me the wrong way? What are you expecting from the exchange? That I blow up at you? Or that I just take your stupid shit and drown in my lament? What the fuck?
I don’t give a fuck if you’re more successful than me academically if you’re going to up on your high horse, or if you think you’re more successful than me in any way. The people that are inspirations, who are role models, are the ones that reflect upon their own successes and failures in order to steer in the direction they want to go. If you’re impressive enough, you don’t need to be putting someone else down in order to elevate your own status. Yes, I may wish that I’ve done better in some aspects of my life thus far, but trust me when I say I really could not care less about what you’ve accomplished, especially when you’ve only marginally outdone me (and let me add, outdone only according to society’s standards).
Fuck you and your pretentiousness and your judgmental attitude. Just because I’m doing things differently, doesn’t mean your way is better. ‘Except MY way is the way society accepts! So I’m still better!!!’
No. Fuck you.