It’s Thanksgiving, and I have spent this week in Maui at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua hotel, and let me tell you, the word, “ritzy” found its root in this hotel. I have seen restaurants where the night’s special was a $45 glass of Dom Perignon champagne. $45 would be my week’s foot budget back in Athens. I’ve seen bottles of water for four dollars and I have seen on-demand movies that cost $13. Without tax.
And what have I gained from this week? (Other than it’s fun to pretend to be a movie star for a week, of course.) I’ve mostly gained a perspective on how the other half of the world lives. Well, maybe not the other half. Maybe more like the one percent. Ha ha.
But in all seriousness, I’ve seen nice things that cost more than I have ever seen things cost before, but seeing all of these wealthy people does make me wonder about my own life’s plans. I worry pretty frequently about my future, mostly because my major doesn’t point to a career at all, unless I want to be the bald man with bad teeth on the History Channel or a sweet old lonely docent at a stuffy museum.
I have women’s studies in Sanford Hall, which is a part of the business school at UGA. I’ve always seen my class as a safe haven from all of the depressed business majors in the classrooms surrounding my own, and I would always have a private laugh at those poor people who have sold their souls; who have already given up on the light and the beauty in this world for one color: green.
At the same time I do worry, and quite frequently, about what I’m actually going to do when I graduate. Yes, I’ll have a house this summer and I’ll live in that house for two years until I graduate college but then what? I can’t imagine a time when I will be able to pay my own rent, because I can’t imagine having a job that I love that will pay me enough to be self-sufficient. Everything is so competitive these days. How can I possibly beat out those people who are doing everything right? And so I wonder whether the next best thing is to go on graduate school, to stay in this safe college world forever, where I can at least live in this naïve bubble of idealism for a bit longer.
Well. What do I do? I’ll be honest here, my standard of success is not being able to comfortably stay at a Ritz-Carlton resort and shrug off a $45 glass of champagne. All I want from life is to never stop learning, and to never live in a stagnate environment in which the people around me are content or have given up. Maybe that’s the college student in me talking. But I think I’ve always been able to tell the difference between those who are content running the same circle for the rest of their lives, and those who thrive on constantly shifting states. Those are the kinds of people who look for new ways to create and bring light to their lives and those are the kinds of people I have always found most interesting.
So yes, financially, all I want is the freedom to learn forever. I don’t need lots of things and I don’t need to take fancy trips like this. So how much is that?
Luckily, I already have a fantastic base and people who support me. I can’t imagine that after thinking these things and writing them down like this I could work backwards from here to complacency. I am thankful for that.
If anyone has any answers or any insight into the things going through my mind, I’d be so glad to listen. I hate losing sleep.