20something profile: Aurora
This post was written by Aurora, who is currently suffering from the 20 Something Condition and working as an engineer:
Apparently I shouldn’t exist. I graduated in 2011 with degrees in Mathematics and Journalism, and every time I bring it up, it’s like telling people I’ve won the Tour de France dope free. Excuse me dear, but I think I heard you say you’re a girl who has chosen to study both math and storytelling?? Error: Does Not Compute.
But here I am, in the flesh (well sort of…I guess you’ll have to take my anonymous word for it), and I’m nothing extraordinary, just a 20-something girl who is confused as you are when it comes to my future.
I want to be everything when I grow up. I want to be a firefighter, a dancer, a geologist, a princess, a filmmaker and an Olympian. I want to ski the Alps and hike the Tetons while starting a business and raising a family. I want to dig up dusty skeletons and analyze jellyfish DNA after writing my novel and solving equations. Doesn’t everyone want it all? Who says we have to decide?
For me choosing a major was as complicated as committing to a husband, so I felt pretty lucky when Math and I came to an arrangement where I could still graduate while getting some on the side. I love Math, but he’ll never be my only one.
Things were looking up after an incredible documentary filmmaking study abroad experience that showed me journalism was a way to have a career without binding myself to a subject. For the first time in my life, I could see myself growing old with a career — maybe as a science reporter for a big magazine, traveling the world and trying my hand at everything.
But my majors and I were in for a rude awakening when I hit the real world of reporting and realized compiling 500 word articles in four hours wasn’t exactly the fulfilling lifestyle I had in mind.
My college paper was willing to work with me, publishing a few of my more detailed pieces as long as I still produced the quickies from my science beat. But my freelance gigs around Seattle weren’t so accommodating, sending me on wild goose chases for last minute stories that I was only allowed a few words to tell. Cutting a few bland quotes together to make a deadline wasn’t what I was looking for.
So after graduation I started from scratch. That year I coached a high school basketball team, got a marketing internship, became a live-in caregiver for my 98-year-old grandfather, turned myself into a web-design guru, taught science at summer camp, helped two of my closest friends get married, saved up for a DSLR camera (with HD video!) and read all five books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (okay so I’m still working on Dance With Dragons… I needed a break from all that emotional trauma).
It was an amazing year, and as fall loomed I decided to change things up and move back in with my Utah-based parents to take a ‘real’ job working with my dad at an engineering company. I’m glad I did it, but I’ve been at this desk job 4 months now, and I crave change already. There is so much going on outside this cubicle; staying comfortable inside just for a few guaranteed dollars isn’t worth the missing out on the great unknown.
So what happens now? Here is what I do know. I know I’m 24-years-old and can do anything I put my mind to. I know that I am more than what I majored in or work as. I know time is precious, but my life won’t end at 30. I know choosing to limit yourself to one side of your brain is bizarre and that the job search is more about finding the right job than any job. I know that a great part about life is imagining what’s next. And I know that movement is everything.