What happens now?

The view from my fifth year apartment.

Graduating from university was one of the happiest days of my life. A lot of the days that have followed haven’t been. The disappointment of following such an achievement with a slowly-breaking bed in your childhood room weighs heavy. It’s something so many people go through, and I’ve always been afraid that I would too. So what happens when you’re stuck in your hometown after going after what felt like the impossible?

I graduated with Bachelor of Science in biology after six years. Three of those were spent commuting to a community college in another city, and the last three were spent living on my university’s campus. I studied humanities, math, chemistry, and of course biology. I was a weird, unsteady combination of lazy, determined, and idealistic. I had big, enormous dreams that I didn’t always put a lot of effort into. With that bare minimum of effort, I graduated with a decent GPA and immediately moved in with my mom and got a job largely populated by people fresh out of high school.

I feel stagnant. I feel stuck. I spend more money than I save, and rather than reaching out to find a job in my field, I’m still here, working 20 hours a week, hoping to save enough to move someday. I’ve just put my whole future in a cardboard box marked Someday. I might never look at that box again.

So much of my life, I’ve been encouraged to pursue anything but my dream. I got more support during university than my entire academic career combined. I’ve been given ridiculous excuses, I’ve had people suggest fields that I just don’t love the same way, I’ve dealt with doubt both inside and out. I used to be so good at fighting it off.

But here I am, more than four months into this job, listening to the doubts starting to crowd around. I’ll stay in this job forever because I’ll always be waiting on the edge of something, waiting to eliminate any risk before jumping. I’ll live in this town for the rest of my life, unhappy for the most part, sometimes overwhelmed with the beauty when heading far enough north or east. The doubts are loud and they have a tendency to yell and get even louder.

Maybe I need to just take the leap. Maybe I’ll apply for that dream job, even if I don’t have enough money in my bank account. Maybe I’ll move to a town I’ve never even seen and hope that I can build a life I’ll love. Maybe it’s almost time to take my future out of that box and just finally take a risk, for once in my life.

Maybe.


I’m a wannabe scientist, writer, and resident of beach towns. I intend to pursue a graduate degree in marine biology and maybe actually publish a story one day. I write historical fiction and personal essays, mainly about body image (and other stuff, promise).

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