It has been two years since I have graduated from university. When you come to think of it, it does seem like a long time. I could say that post university life has been great for me, but then I would be lying. Life outside the academe can be challenging and haunting, especially to somebody who loves sitting in a classroom and listening to professors, like myself.
I took up Creative Writing in university. Deep inside, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. How so? I mean, if you were a ten year old girl, I’m sure that the things you ask your parents are new clothes, toys and what-not. When I was ten, all I asked of my parents was a printer so I could finally print all the stories I had written and compile them in my little folder. At thirteen, I attempted my first ever novel. That did not end well, but I did learn a lot from that experience. I think I still have those first few chapters hidden somewhere in the depths of my messy childhood room. Words were my friends, and in my stories I found solace.
Some time ago, a certain friend asked me a very important question: “Do you think you’re spending your time well since you left school?”
I honestly wasn’t able to answer properly because I was dumbfounded. Have I spent my time well since I left school? At that moment, it made me feel worthless. I have been out of university for two years now. It made me think. What have I been doing for the past two years? I swear, at that exact moment it made me feel so bad about myself because I studied to become a professional writer and I haven’t even published a single thing in my life. I sulked, of course. But then again, have I really wasted my time in those two years?
Here is what I did for the past two years that I have been living my post university life: I took a short trip to Europe then headed to the United States to seek inspiration for two months. After that, I sought ‘experience’ in the corporate world and worked for four months at a San Francisco based start-up company. I felt that the corporate lifestyle wasn’t really my thing so I went back to China for a few weeks. Then started travelling the Philippines for two months. After that, I was back to the United States and worked my way through New York City. I was waiting tables and babysitting and doing collaborations with fellow artists who make this world a better place. After six months, I was back in Asia. I travelled through Asia for two months and now, I am back in the Philippines for a few more months.
I did all these things in the past two years. Not to mention, I did finish my first (actual) novel. I am having a hard time publishing, but what writer doesn’t struggle with getting their first piece published? That was it. That was my life for the past two years.
There will be people who will look down on you because you do not have any tangible proof of success. They will think lowly of you because your success is not patterned the same way the world’s success is. Do not let them hinder you and your potential. You will get to where you want to go, as long as you work hard enough for it.
To be quite honest, I have no idea why I thought I was wasting my life away when that certain friend asked me that question. It is true, it has been a rough two years. I am sure that it will take me quite some time to actually figure out what I want to do with my life and where I would like to settle down, but one thing is for sure, this life I am living is the best life I have for myself. Do not let other people make you think otherwise.
My success may seem a little unconventional, but it is mine and I am proud of my own personal growth. Seeking validation from other people who do not appreciate you is a wrong move to make. The only validation that you need in your life, is God’s.
It takes time to grow. It takes time to see change. It takes time find your success. But believe me when I tell you that when God says yes to your dreams, everything will fall according to place. You just have to wait and see, and of course, work hard for your dreams.
P.S. I thought to myself if it is still relevant to write about this topic, but then again, I remember the friends I have who are also struggling with post university life. So I guess that’s my queue.
“For no word from God will ever fail.”
Luke 1:37 NIV