Last month was graduation day at ESU. I had already received my diploma in the mail after I completed my BA degree last December. I remember a comment made by a classmate: “I’m about to graduate so now I’ll get paid more.” I wanted to ask him what made him think that, but I just looked at him and wished him good luck.
I remember, when I was younger, how it was to go through school and college, being in a safe, predictable world where I knew what was coming next. Then, one day you graduate and you’re left on your own to deal with the larger world.
In my early twenties in Spain, I studied Public Relations. My father wanted me to be a lawyer or study for a ‘prestigious’ profession. My mother wanted me to keep staying in college where I could meet the ‘right’ man; preferably a lawyer or a doctor. I always had a creative mind and wanted to be a writer and a journalist. But in high school I chose to enjoy myself and studying wasn’t part of that. I missed journalism school by half a point on the entrance exam.
After I graduated I found my own apartment, a job, and became independent. My mother was upset, “why do you want to leave home?” she asked. “Don’t we treat you well?” In Latin countries the sense of family and of being together is very strong. Traditionally, girls were supposed to live at home until they married; many men did too. Now in Spain, many young people stay at home simply because they can’t afford to leave.
I didn’t go back to school until years later when I saw I had lost track of my dreams through many years in a corporate world. A world where, ultimately, I realized I didn’t belong. The last straw was a job at a New York TV station where I worked sixty hours a week and was replaced when the boss’s favorite needed a bigger budget for her new assistant.
That’s when I realized my passion for writing had followed me to the US and it was time to follow it. At first it took the form of emails to friends about my adventures in my new country. It wasn’t until I went back to college at ESU that I found the discipline to make writing and broadcasting my new career.
What I learned is: do what you need to do but don’t forget your dreams. Do what you must do to earn a living and get by, but don’t forget all your passions and your talents. When they day comes that you see the path to them, take it. If you feel excited it’s the right path!
Christina´s radio show with a Latin flavor is every Sunday morning at 8:00 AM on Pocono 96.7. Tu Voz con Christina. Email: Christina@pocono967.com