I’m a selfish twenty-something.

I am a selfish twenty-something.

I travel because I want to. I believe it is possible to be in love with places and people because I am. Travel has taught me to love people for who they are and not what they could be. You cannot change people. All you can do is love them as they are, pray for them, and never give up on them. Same thing for places. Sometimes a place moves into your soul and consumes you. A fiery passion burns to be in that place when you are not there. Sometimes this happens with places you haven’t been to. That love you feel is real. I feel it for Ireland and Oregon and Patagonia. Travel has become a major part of my life, and I wouldn’t take any amount of money in attempt to keep me in one place.

I am a selfish twenty-something.

January is the beginning of a new job for me. Is it in my field of study? No. Am I going to give it my all everyday? Yes. I understand that I do have to work, but that doesn’t mean that this is my life. One of my old bosses said something to me that has stuck.

“This is just my job. I come here everyday because I have to provide for my family. My family is my life. When I leave at the end of the day, I turn my phone off and don’t respond to emails. They are the number one source of happiness in my life. Jobs come and go. Family is forever.”

Ever since he said that to me (in the midst of one of the worst times in my life) I’ve tried to live my life by that motto. I go to work to provide for myself and my future family. They are my life and I don’t even have them yet. At present I have myself, my sister, and my parents. They are the most important things to me. Jobs come and go. They are forever. I do everything in my power to keep myself happy and them happy.

My happiness stems from travel. Is it so bad that I want to see the world? I know many people ask me, “Are you not afraid?” Well y’all, I can’t be afraid. If I were afraid, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do. I travel because it makes me happy. Travel keeps me sane.

I’m a selfish twenty-something.

I am 23 in debt and single. I fully acknowledge that I am an adult and should be doing “adult things.” Yes, I do have student loans and a car payment, but that does not mean that I am tied down. I understand that I must take a job that will allow me to slowly pay off these debts. I am working on it. Not only am I in debt to student loans, but I love to shop at the Loft and I’m still chipping away at the last plane ticket to and from Ireland. Soooo….

Aside from being a 23 in debt, I am single. I am wonderfully and gloriously single. If I want to go out and make-out with guys in a bar, I can. I know that may sound slightly slutty, but I really don’t care. I’m neither shoving my body in places it shouldn’t be nor am I out sleeping around. I’m blissfully enjoying the ability to hang out with multiple guys. If I want to go out with one guy one night and then another the next, I can do that. You know why? Because I’m young and I’m single. I want nothing more in this world than to be a wife and a mother, but right now while I can be a little footloose and fancy free, why not hang out with as many guys as I want to?

Several people from my high school are settling down with husbands, wives, children, and I’m over here like, “Where can I go next?!” Don’t get me wrong, when the right guy comes along, I’m gonna grab him up and do the settle down thing. But he isn’t here yet. I don’t know where you are guy, but I hope you can put up with my love of travel and love of the world. You’ll have to learn to share me because I cannot sit still.

*Mom and dad, I am not sleeping around.

I’m a selfish twenty-something.

I’m a college graduate who is not using her degree. You know, I am meeting more and more people who graduate with this degree but has that profession. The thing is, there are too many college graduates and not enough jobs. I’ll be the first to tell you that if you are graduating from college anytime soon, be prepared to go through the “but there isn’t any jobs in my field” phase. It’s coming.

I got a degree in history for two reasons: because I wanted to and because at the time, I wanted to be a historical writer.

I landed a sweet gig right out of college at an up an coming museum in Georgia, but the job wasn’t all it cracked out to be. I loved my coworkers and the job requirements for the most part, but there was something about it that just was not for me. So what did I do? I quit and moved to Europe. I will probably never be able to find another steady job in the history field without going back to school to further my degree.

I’m not the only one who is struggling to find a job in their respective field. Of my five best friends from high school, only one of them is currently working in the field she studied in college. ONE. Many other people that I graduated college or high school with have moved on to other areas because they couldn’t find jobs in their fields.

I’m a selfish twenty-something.

I moved to Ireland on a Working Holiday Authorization and spent the best year of my life gallivanting across Europe, kissing foreign guys, working as a temp in random offices, and making the best friends. How many people can say that they up and quit their job to move to Europe? Not many. I’ve met so many people both online in my travels who took the same leap of faith I did. We all agree that it was the best decision we ever made. I showed up in Ireland with a week long hostel reservation, no job, and no friends. I only had the two suitcases of stuff I brought with me.

I had nothing.

But from that nothing, I built the best life. I may not have had a ton of friends like I did in college, but I had a few very good close friends. I wouldn’t have made it without their constant support. We had pints daily. We joked and cried. They helped me fill out tax forms, order strange foods, advise me on how to date European men, and were there for those middle of the night chats. Upon my return to Ireland, I shipped two boxes home, left some stuff there, and thanked the airline lady who let me bag get on the flight overweight. My heart burst with tears of sorrow when I hugged my best friend goodbye. I showed up to Ireland with nothing but left with a life full of precious memories.

I’m a selfish twenty-something.

Currently I’m planning another year long adventure to Asia. So this is happening. And by happening I mean the PLANNING process. My plans tend to not work out, but I am in the process of trying to get stuff together for yet another year long adventure.

Asia. Freaking Asia.

If everything comes together, I’ll be teaching English for a year. Ireland was for me. It was my time to be silly and free. Now I want to do something of worth. I want to make an impact. I want to feel like I made a small difference in someone’s life. Teaching English may be that chance. What if I was the teacher that those kids remembered? What if they told their neighborhood friends about this goofy American teacher they have and that cause them and their friends to want to learn more? I don’t know. That may be silly of me to think that way, but I want to do this. If it doesn’t work out now, I will go somewhere to teach English one day.

I’m a selfish twenty-something, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

14 thoughts on “I’m a selfish twenty-something.

  1. You’ve got to start from somewhere, and getting your first job is the first step. So congratulate yourself on this and enjoy being gloriously single while you can!!

  2. To be honest I’ve tried to live by that motto for years and it hasn’t work. I work to live, I don’t live to work. And unfortunately employers nowadays get a little pissed off when you dare to use the vacation days that you’ve accrued throughout the year. I have a feeling that’s why I’ve been laid off from my last two jobs. If only my previous bosses had the same mindset that yours did!!!!

    1. That breaks my heart for you. Living in Ireland only made me believe more in that mindset. I guess there’s no such thing as a perfect job or boss, but I’ve come pretty close. I work to live, but in no way will I ever live to work. If an employer has a problem with that, then I don’t want to work for them anyways. That may be terrible of me to say that, but it’s really how I feel. I’ll give my darnedest from 9-5, but the minute that clock clicks over, I’m done and gone for the day. I have a life outside of the office you know?

  3. Oh, I just read that you’re going to teach English in Asia, wow!! What fantastic news! I know quite a few people that did the same, one actually has been doing it for over 2 years in Vietnam (Hanoi) now and she couldn’t be happier with her new life. She says it’s very rewarding because the students are brilliant and love her to bits. I also met another English teacher in Ho Chi Minh who came over for a week travelling the country. She was in Cambodia (Siem Reap) and said it’s quite rough but definitely an experience. So if this is your first time in Asia (like it was for me in July this year) maybe choose Vietnam (or even better Thailand) over Cambodia? But of course it always depends on the location, the circumstances, etc. Sometimes I wish I could have that option but as a non-native English speaker I’m not allowed to teach English
    🙁 Fingers crossed your planning will go well. Keep us updated! x

    1. Thanks girl!! I’m really hoping it works out, but since I recently got a full-time job, I my have to take the money and run. I’m struggling heavy with the decision. I’ll keep y’all up do date of course 🙂

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