Logging into Word Press today a notification of my four-year anniversary with Travel Scout Adventure fluttered across my screen. A whole year looms between this post and my last. I’m nervous to rebrand my myself and my blog yet, here I sit listening to pagan throat chanting (Heilung), nursing a fresh septum piercing, and cursing the virtues of romantic love. Maybe I’m a newly formed curmudgeon. The last few years have been just bizarre. Granted I’ve had incredible experiences, but I found myself miles and miles away from the person I had planned to be. The girl I used to be loved her horses. She spent hours poring over 19th century poetry and classic literature. She drank her coffee black just like the grungy, angry girl music in her earphones. She had goals and direction, peppered with a wild imagination. She was a professional badass who uttered insults in Russian. She lounged in trees while contemplating the universe. She had drifted away from the person she used to be – the me I loved. Chalk it up to becoming an adult but let me admit adolescent Kate had a better idea of what she wanted than final form Kate. Until now… my voice is healed and my fingers long to tell you a story.
Let’s talk about some shit…
Gen X, Millennials and beyond spend so much time planning who we are to become, forgetting to be who we already are. Like a kid with a block set you, can’t force a cube into a star hole. Majority of us weren’t meant to be surgeons, lawyers, or economist but maybe excel as welders, writers or mixologists. Procuring why countless Millennials are six feet under in student loan debt. What eighteen-year-old with limited adult experience knows what rabbit hole they were meant to wander down? High school pounded into our collective psyche that going to university was the only way to stay out of jail *wrong*. Community college was looked down upon as a lesser option, filthy delinquent *so, wrong*. Walking through the golden gates of university academia, Sallie May loans in tow, was the only way to grow into a valuable member of society *furthest from the truth*. Ok, stepping off the soapbox – for now.
If you’ve been following me – you know the story. If not, I’ve provided a recap: I attended community college (criminal) before university as part of my master plan to obtain a degree debt free. My college experience was quiet, mostly because on top of a full slate of courses, I worked forty hours in a restaurant as a server and a bartender. Six years and 56k (out of pocket) later, I’d obtained and AA in Business and a BA in Economics. After school, I left on a six-month excursion to traipse around Europe. I enjoyed a taste of true freedom and it put my priorities in perspective. My life was been irrevocably transformed.
I’m one of those souls who can’t be a cube in a star hole. I can’t visualize myself dying over a desk job with a fancy salary. I’d rather live modestly, even struggle, but live to watch the Aurora billow over the fjord and scramble out of the Grand Canyon whenever I please. That’s why it’s so fucking offensive when asked why I’m still a bartender. It’s a real job. I don’t receive monopoly money. I earn real money – fantastic money. I can transfer my skills of hospitality and martini crafting anywhere I choose. Drink shaking and wine pouring is sharing an experience. Molding a moment with strangers and familiars alike is a quality I never would have discovered without life experience.
Today, I signed up for my first class in two years Agriculture Studies 105 titled Soil. I’m back in the arms of agriculture and education – a place I was raised in – a place I will seemingly never leave. I’m on a journey to discover the world of wine making. Arizona has a baby wine region and the epicenter happens to be the Verde Valley, north of me by 70 miles. Come January I have plans to leave the Metropolitan Phoenix area and move to the high desert in the north. There will be more to come!
My grand advice is to take your time, decide what you are passionate about – hone it. Experience community college. Take classes that interest you or don’t but work like the devil. Evolve. Save money. Travel. I know that we live in a world where you can have it all. Remember that routes are not direct. As I approach my thirties, I know nothing is set in stone. I’m far from the veterinarian, archaeologist, cat mother of four I was destined to be. But FUCK YES… I am exactly the person that I want to be.