Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

Am I at a crossroads?

…I don’t think the situation is that drastic.

It has been 7 weeks since my 2 month journey outside America and, to put it bluntly, the time away really altered my entire perspective on life. Or maybe it solidified the uncertainties of how I want to live this life of mine.

You see, I believed I had it all planned out properly before these international trips ever happened. 
I was going to earn my Master’s degree, quit my job, travel, come back, land a job to jump start the career I have been hoping for, and be content with whatever stems from then on.

But, like I mentioned before, my experiences being in Europe and Asia changed everything.

Several questions popped in my mind, such as:

What if I decide not to pursue a career related to my Master’s degree? Does that make me a failure?

What is success, really? I define it myself, don’t I?

Do I want to still be here, living in this area, or should I start anew somewhere else?

What is more important to me: career or…?

When I was in Europe, I met people from different walks of life, but it seemed that most people had it all together. And, even if they didn’t, they seemed prepared to handle whatever struggles that may come their way.

I couldn’t understand how someone can just travel for months on end, just taking a hiatus from the standard 9-5 life. I couldn’t fathom moving to another country, especially to one where you can’t speak the language fluently, if at all, and start a new life.

Yet, these people, these wonderful people, sparked a new mindset for me. (They also shared their views on us Americans, which is wasn’t necessarily bright, but that’s another story for another time.)  I had to keep asking myself, what is it really that is important to me?

And then there was the Philippines. It all seemed like a dream now, everything that happened. The circumstances I was put in during my time there also challenged my mindset. I am always humbled by what I witness from relatives and the simpletons I observe in the city and in the province. The way they live in the conditions they are born in, and yet, they still make the best of it.

I love my family so much, to the point where I seriously contemplated…what if…what if…I moved there. Like some baliktad balikbayan.

Life is short. Do what makes you happy. Someone would say.

Allow me to share with you some firm beliefs of mine.

I don’t care about achieving the typical American dream. Being rich ain’t important to me. I don’t fancy a nice, big house, driving luxurious cars, or watching shows on gigantic flat screen TVs. I’d rather save my income instead of keeping up with the Joneses. I would be the type of person to bring $3 wine from Trader Joe’s at your bougy, gentrified, cocktail party at your casa. I’m thinking of investing my money in mutual funds, letting that money compound, so that I can “retire” early and not be a slave to corporate America until I’m 65.

I have questioned myself lately about the topic of ambition. Am I not being ambitious enough?

Right now, I’ve been working a part-time job at the airport while I wait for my real job to come through. I had visited the career services center at my alma mater to recieve advice on how to approach

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