2 AM Musings

Like so many 20-somethings I interview every week as a recruiter for a tech-startup dog walking company, I’ve been struggling since my quarter-life crisis to find myself and my life’s purpose. Why am I here? Where am I going? What sort of impact will I make on the world or even just those around me?

About a week ago, one quiet autumn night, I found myself thinking about everything I studied in school, none of which I’m using on a day-to-day basis. I was so passionate about psychology, about anthropology, about people and cultures and human interactions and interpersonal relationships. I thought again, as I had many times before, of all the places I would like to travel, but probably never would. But then, that tiny voice nagged in the back of my head.

“Why don’t you travel? What’s holding you back?”

I have a job, and an apartment, and dogs. I live in New York City. I can’t just up and leave my life.

“Sure you can. Couldn’t your ex watch the dogs for a year or two? You’re close friends still, and he always loved them. And you’re not getting any younger, you know.”

Fuck off. I’m not old, I’m 27. Well…okay yeah, maybe I need to consider something else before I get too old and too wrapped up in life. But what?

“ The Peace Corps? You’ve always thought about that. Why not?”

Hours of research later I found myself starting an application, setting up an appointment with a recruiter, and reading countless blogs of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of the past. Where would I go? What would I do? The more I thought, the more I realized, it doesn’t matter. I don’t care if I’m teaching English in a Filipino city, or developing better agriculture practices while living in a hut in Africa; I simply crave the opportunity to be something larger than myself, and do whatever I can to make a positive influence in the world. Perhaps in giving away my possessions and my privileges, I can find my deeper connection to myself and to humanity.

So here we are, a week later and musing once again at 2 AM. But this time, I’m excited with the prospect of what the future holds. Today, it’s a meeting with a recruiter at 4:30. Tomorrow? Who knows. Either way, I’m ready for what’s coming. I’m ready for answers.