How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
—The Sound of Music
When I’m asked what I want to do with my life after graduate school, I can only come up with one response of certainty: “I want to travel. I want to live internationally.” I’ve always wanted travel in my life; it’s something that isn’t a completely foreign concept to me. Foreign countries may sound intimidating, but in reality, the thought of living somewhere else isn’t a strange idea to me. Some people, however, don’t share the same enthusiasm for my idea. Shouldn’t I want a job or career first? Shouldn’t I be looking for a companion, someone to share in my love of travel? Of course, I do want a career and eventually a partner, but I have different priorities.
Receiving questionable looks is something I’m used to. After all, when I first decided to declare a theatre major I was met with a great deal of resistance. For a long time I loved my job and still got to travel from time to time for my work in regional theatre as a Stitcher/Dresser for costume departments around the United States. While I was grateful for the opportunity to go new places, I became restless. It wasn’t the fact that I constantly had to look for work or be cautious with my finances; it was more because I was ready for something new and different. What were my immediate plans? To travel.
This eventually morphed itself into internships in Peru and Chicago, and although I’m still determining my next steps in graduate school, one thing is certain: Travel is on my mind. Concerned family members ask if I felt I’ve made the right choice by starting graduate school, they ask me what’s next, and then they suggest opportunities for me to meet someone. A couple of my family members at Christmas asked, “Have you met people at school? Are there any opportunities for you to meet young, single men?” There’s nothing wrong with wanting me to meet someone, but for me it’s not a priority.
When I mention I might be single forever, I’m immediately told I’ll meet someone and then my whole life will circulate around this future partner. Perhaps if he’s Tom Hiddleston this may prove to be true, but maybe not. I’ve never been sure what the rush is to find someone and settle down. Companionship is nice, but the more I work towards finishing school and pursuing an international career, the more fulfilled I become. The thought of altering everything for someone doesn’t respect what I want to do doesn’t feel like a step forward. That’s why I’m taking my time to find someone who gets it and isn’t afraid to let me journey ahead wherever that may be.
Never meeting anyone isn’t a total loss for me. The more possible opportunities I find with organizations that empower others and the support I have from classmates, friends, and fellow bloggers is enough for me. No one should have to change or give up everything they want in order to be with someone, and since I want travel as a priority in my life, I’m seeking a person who has the same values. Rather than feeling I have to be “pinned down,” I’m beginning to think I’m a lot more like Carrie in Sex and the City who says: “Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them.”