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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Friday, April 16, 2010

That Distant Beyond

I know that I am not the first and I know that I certainly will not be the last but at this very moment, I am completely and utterly baffled by the prospect of the future. In fact, I have become so anxious and fearful of what my next step in life should be that I can barely focus on the present. I can’t do very much of my homework or think about assignments that are due in the near future without freaking out about that distant beyond. I can’t relax without feeling that perhaps my time would be better spent looking for some graduate program that might make for a suitable future or some scholarship I should apply for in order to pay for my postgraduate education. I can’t even talk to my friends without thinking of applications or letters of recommendation that I feel that I need to seek out. And though the deadlines for submitting these applications are months away, I still feel so behind. Basically, when it comes down to it, the abstractness and overwhelming quality of what my future holds is weighing me down and I can barely live in the concreteness of the present. It kind of sucks when I stop to think about it.

And things aren’t any easier considering that I still can’t seem to answer the question of “What am I going to do with my life.” And I know that I’m not alone and I know that I am not the only person in this world who can’t answer that. I used to think I had the answer, back when I was seven years old and things felt a lot easier. When I was seven, some time after I saw the movie “Liar Liar” with Jim Carrey I told my parents that I wanted to be a lawyer and they were so proud. But when you really think about it, what seven-year old really and truly wants to be a lawyer? Looking back, I feel I only said that to make my parents happy and that career ambition actually lasted until I was fifteen years old. What changed? There was some point in high school where I realized that I absolutely loved English literature and writing and I started to feel that I wanted to devote myself to the intricacy of the written language for the rest of my life but my parents weren’t too happy about that. They thought it was just some “phase” I was going through and they only tolerated my desire to be an English major when I came to LMU. And now that I’m approaching that point where I will begin applying to some kind of post graduate program, I am still torn: Do I want to be a lawyer or do I want to be a writer? Do I want a Masters in English literature or should I go to law school right after graduating from LMU? I tell myself that maybe, possibly I can do both but if I do that, which one should I do first? I certainly have no idea.

I try to focus on the present instead of thinking about all of this but then I remember that this is the kind of stuff that I need to think about. But then I just get anxious and stressed. I even think about the programs and internships I am applying to for the summer in terms of my future. Like “if I get the grant to work at the law firm, I’ll go to law school” or “If I get the internship with the literary arts organization, then I will pursue a masters in English literature.” I’ve also become so obsessed with what will look “impressive” on a resume that it’s beginning to take a toll on my overall well-being and I think I am starting to lose sight of who I am and see myself only in terms of my resume.

My roommate tells me that I just need to relax. And I tell her that it feels as if I am some sort of computer and I am trying to download too many applications while playing music while watching a video on the Internet while surfing the web while downloading a cd into itunes. I think I need to just take it one step at a time before I crash. I think I’m going to have to shut down a few windows and restart. Maybe when I restart and I am presented with a clean desktop, I will know which applications I want to open and which files I want to download because as of now, I am on electronic overload and I could really use the reboot. And as the school year is winding down and there are all these finals and projects to think about, I think it’s important to take a step back and reassess. After all, the future is important but it’s also very important that we don’t lose sight of the present or lose sight of ourselves.

Krystal Vazquez
Truth Staffer


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