Stop asking me what I can do with a degree in English and Spanish!!! (mostly because I don’t know the answer myself)
There’s something really strange that has happened to me in the past month. I graduated from the College of Charleston (where did the time go?) and I am still awaiting to receive my Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, English and Creative Writing in the mail.
I guess maybe the act of graduating in itself isn’t that weird, though it does seem weird to me how quickly four years can fly by. But to understand my emotional weirdness as of late, you have to understand the absolutely amazing city where I’ve spent the last four years studying, figuring out who I am, and developing alcoholic tendencies.
Charleston, South Carolina is on the top of more and more travel lists every year it seems. It has been named time and time (and time) again the best or friendliest or most beautiful city in the world. Yes, you read that right. Move over, Madrid. Get lost, London. Paris, you suck. Charleston is the shit.
Truth be told, I do not think that Charleston is the most beautiful city in the world. It’s just not. But it is a hidden gem in the Southeast and 100% the most amazing place in South Carolina. Seriously, you have to go there, even if for a weekend.
So after spending the best years of my life in literal paradise, I’ve returned home to the upstate of South Carolina, which is where I was born and raised. And while it’s great to see all of my family and old friends again, it’s hard for me not to be depressed. My best friend just moved to Charlotte, accepting the only job he applied to out of college. Others are moving to big cities like New York. Others are staying in Charleston (how the hell can they afford it?). Meanwhile, I’m waiting on Target to get their shit together to take me back for the summer.
Turns out no one in the Upstate needs an English/Spanish major. Too qualified for a regular job. Not fluent enough to become a translator. Not certified in teaching. No one else seems to be hiring. And if they are, they wouldn’t be paying me enough to justify moving out of my parents’ house. Hence, the first month of my post-grad life has been weird and unexpectedly depressing as shit.
So what have I done? Not much of anything. I applied for a lot of jobs in vain, started trying to lose some weight, gave up sweet tea (probably also contributed to my depression), and I bought a shit ton of books with my graduation money. I read one of these books last week, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.
I really enjoyed reading it. If you’ve never read it, you definitely should. It’s about a group of American ex-pats living in Paris going down to Pamplona, Spain for las San Fermines (which is where the country’s most famous Running of the Bulls takes place). It got me missing Spain, but it also gave me some great quotes.
The first I liked so much that I made it my blog’s name: “Never be daunted.” Although it is referring to masculinity in the book, I want it to mean something different for this blog. When I was in Spain and had booked a weekend excursion to Morocco, my dad flipped out, yelling about ISIS and ebola and things like that. Last semester when I told him I was planning on going back to Spain (I’ll get to that in a minute), he told me to wait for a few years. This was right after the Paris attacks, might I add.
But to grow fearful in the face of evil is to allow the evil to win. I refuse to allow something like fear or slight danger to dictate what I do with this life. I’ve only got one and I plan to do as much as I can.
Which takes me to the next quote: “Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you’re not taking advantage of it? Do you realize you’ve lived nearly half the time you have to live already?”
This leads me to announce that, last Friday while I was in the Taco Bell drive-thru, I was (finally) accepted to the auxiliares de conversación program in La Rioja, Spain. I will be returning to Spain sometime in late September! If you don’t know about the program, basically the Spanish government hires Americans/Canadians/Brits to move to Spain for a school year to teach English in their schools. I literally almost cried when I got the email. I had been waiting for so long that I thought I wouldn’t get in.
So. In anticipation for this change, I created this blog to document anything and everything: my past (and future) travels, my pursuit at becoming fluent in Spanish (and hopefully more languages in the future), my writing, my reading, whatever is going on in my life, who knows? In the words of Cady from Mean Girls, the limit does not exist.
It might just be me reading this blog for a while, maybe I could build a community. Who knows? But I am very excited to see where this blog takes me (if anywhere).
So, you tell me: Have you ever been afraid to travel or to do something new with your life? Did you overcome this? What do you want to do right now that you feel like you can’t? Let me know in the comments.