Growing up in an affluent town in the North Shore of Chicago, the expectations of what one does with their life were clear from a very young age. Everyone graduated high school, went to a well-known university, graduated, got an apartment in the city and found a job. I tried that life. I really did! I graduated in 2020 with plans to attend Ohio University, but the world had another path planned for me. Due to the pandemic, I wasn't able to attend Ohio, so I made my first decision to lean into who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. I packed up my bags and spent eight weeks exploring the East Coast.
After that, I decided to actually give the college path a try and I moved to Morgantown, West Virginia to complete the second semester of my freshman year. I did the dance - I went to classes, went out on the weekends, joined a sorority, and made friends. But, I just felt a constant feeling of being unfulfilled, like I knew there was more out there and I just wasn't quite experiencing it, and though those eight weeks on the east coast felt relatively trivial in the moment, they truly did impact my outlook on life. When I was at school, I constantly longed for my time on the east coast, when I was able to see new places everyday and no day was the same. Queue accepting my job at Yellowstone National Park.
When the semester ended, I returned home for three weeks before (I bet you can guess!), packing my bags yet again, to move across the country to Wyoming. I spent the best two months of my life working at Yellowstone, and I found a new version of myself who I didn't even know existed. I genuinely believe that this summer changed me in so many ways, but "changed" isn't even the right word. More so, it brought out who I have always had the potential to be, but never was given the opportunity to pursue. I have never been as happy as I was living in the middle of nowhere with people that I had just met. It's where I'm meant to be. So, I'm doing it forever, or at least for now.
In January, I'm moving out west to Utah with my best friend, who also happens to be a girl I met less than five months ago, to continue chasing who I am and what makes me feel most alive. And after that? Who knows. We all know I'm a sucker for game-time decisions.