Going into my twenty-first year of existence, it rained. Compared to the frigid temperatures and frequent snow on the East Coast, Seattle showed normal temperatures, with chilly rain falling as the New Year transitioned. And like every other new year, I returned to school for winter quarter.
However, one thing permeated through the changing of the years and the slow advance towards graduation is that my motivation continues to stagnate. With some plans falling through and others up in the air, I sometimes feel like I have no motivation for the future. When one idea pops up, my own sloth takes over and decides not to pursue those dreams with full gusto. I assume that I would win and then humbled without a little speck of remorse.
I'd like to think that looking at the world, with its relative lack of opportunities and over-enveloping cynicism in the news and in the atmosphere, I don't feel like I would be able to succeed. For example, I read a Huffington Post article in which they claim "Millennials are screwed" — due to governmental policy, adulthood for people in my generation is further away. A wonderful article, it stuck to me in my mind I wasn't alone, and that I might have to face this, too. The current politics of the day implies that the nuclear holocaust may come sooner than later, due to recklessness and the lack of desire for peace. Those two vices also translate to my life; if the world ends, then what would matter of my actions?
Another reason I maintain cynicism for the future is my desire to go into two different fields: foreign policy, and writing. As I told my mother, I wanted to work as a researcher at a think tank during the day, and become an author at night. That way, I would have a day job I enjoy, while pursuing my passion in the hopes I would become well-known for it. But as my father tries to emphasize, both of these professions have fleeting jobs, with little prospects of making a fortune. Instead, he emphasizes the sciences and tells me of stories of friends who were better off majoring in them. Like with the world I live, it seems more expensive and more precious than it seems. All of these ideas float over my head--I want to do something which will make me, and the world, worthwhile. Not necessarily which I would make the most money.
But considering the environment my parents raised me in, not "growing up" is not an option. They immigrated to the United States in the 1990s for my mother to go to school, in which she became a nurse. For the longest time, they gave me lectures about how I should do better, to create a life and a legacy for myself, and repeated them as I grew up and struggled to find my niche in school and beyond. I know if I do not only graduate from college but forge a life I'm proud of, then I would shame them. They wouldn't be able to talk about me, or to me, again.
Another motivation for me is the desire to leave a legacy for those I leave behind. It's easy when I write--I could express feelings besieged by the rest of world, or catalyze a revolution for those who long for it. I believe immortality is overrated unless we make something of the limited time we live here on Earth. It triggers my cynicism, in that I don't believe people will leave a space for me in their memories; my existence washed away in their own thoughts. Yet I have to try.