Rethinking my future
January 12, 2011 § 11 Comments
Here I am, awake at 11:30pm, brain buzzing, heart racing, unable to fall asleep. This has been me for the past few days. As the days till the start of my second semester of senior year is getting cruciatingly close, I become a nervous wreck. The thoughts of schoolwork, research, and the high amount of stress are just overwhelming me right now. You are probably reading this and thinking, “Oh, yeah, that’s normal. That’s exactly like me when I have to go back to work after a long vacation.” But no, what I’ve realized is that what I am doing in college is not what I want to be.
I’ve grueled through one semester of intense neurobiology research, and yet another semester to come. I do not particularly hate it, neither do I particularly like it, but it brings immense stress on my part. All throughout high school, I thought I wanted to pursue a career in biology-related fields. That sort of continued through the first and second year of college. And then research came, and I was no longer that interested. I’ve grueled through two semesters and two summers of intense research, and yet another semester to come. I do not particularly hate it, neither do I particularly like it. It just brings immense stress on my part.This is not what I want my life to be. If I had disliked it so much just for a couple of semesters, I would most certainly destroy myself if I put myself through grad school or become a research assistant.
The end of college is a period when most people start to think seriously about their future–what they want to pursue as a career, whether to receive even higher levels of education, etc. I think I’ve stressed about this so much this past semester that I won’t be surprised if someone were to find white hair sprouting amongst my head of black.
Here it is, my internal struggle. I have come so far in the field of biology, attending a prestigious college known for its excellent liberal arts and science program, ideal students-to-teacher ratios, and the rare opportunities to work in research labs that more often than not require skills and knowledge of a grad school students. My parents have paid so much money to put me into this school, because I believed biology was for me. I guess in a way I’m your typical Asian kid–wanting to study hard in school, get good grades, have extracurricular activities, graduate with several degrees up my sleeves and with honors, get jobs as enginners, lawyers, doctors, scientists, blah blah blah. As I grew older, however, I’ve uncovered that I am not this person.After four years, I’ve come to realized my heart is not in biology, after all.
Where is my heart? Yoga.
Some people might smirk at the idea of this, thinking that a yoga teacher is somewhat like your PE teacher in high school. Perhaps, if your idea of a yoga teacher is someone from your local gym who guides you through some poses with a yoga video playing in the background. But a good yoga teacher is so much more than that. He (in order to simply things, I am just going to use he….after all, yoga did start out being practiced by men only in India) is wise, insightful, physically and mentally healthy. The thing about yoga is that there is no perfection. You can and are always striving to improve, whether in your poses, your pranayama (breathing techniques), or your way of living. Once committed, it’s a practice that sticks with you throughout your life every single day.
Summer and winter breaks are the only times during which I can really devote myself to yoga. Back in Taiwan with the good ol’ yoga studio in which I first fell in love with yoga, with the teachers that have walked this journey with me the past four and a half years, and with no school work to worry about. Each time I make this trip back home, my feelings towards yoga grow stronger and stronger. It’s a passion that’s never been dimmed or doused. It grows stronger with each practice, and with each accomplishment.
True, being a yoga teacher is not your regular stepway to success and wealth. But that is the spirit of yoga. It is not a religion, but like every religion, you are devoting yourself to it not because it will gain you wealth and success, but because you believe in that it will make you and the people around you better human beings. I have seen how yoga has changed me throughout the years, made my body stronger, my mind healthier, and my appreciation to nature and to people greater. I want to spread this enlightenment to more people, and through teaching, I know I can do that. Indeed, I am only beginning my journey and with many more such enlightenments to come as I deepen my study, but sages have not always been sages; it is through experiences and years that they are as knowledgeable as they are.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so sure about anything in my life. I believe I have the potential to be a great teacher, and I will let that notion be my guide and encouragement as I pursue yoga. Will I be including anything else in my life and career besides yoga? Only time can tell. When the right moment comes, my heart will tell me.
12:10 am. Now that I’ve spilled my thoughts out, perhaps I can finally fall asleep.