Graduation day…check.

A sense of accomplishment…double check.

Ready to take on the world…eh maybe.

Last month I attended an alumni meeting at my Alma Mater to hear the results of a study that was conducted last summer. As I sat among fellow alums who talked about their life and careers, many of whom had been out for over 20 years, I was struck by the thought that I still have time. Once upon a time I used to think that if my life didn’t follow a certain formula, namely that of a career and family, I would be an outcast forever. Not so anymore, but it took me awhile to realize that all life quests are different with loops, bumps and holes.

Five years have passed since I last took a final, wrote a paper, worked on a group project, or helped out at an extra-curricular activity. Time is a fickle fiend. Many of us know what we want in terms of a career, and we act like bulldogs to pursue it. While drive and dependability are great attributes, they can sometimes get in the way of the bigger picture. My plan in 2009 was simple. Once the degree was in hand I applied to numerous newsprint outlets.

However, my first full-time journalism post took me three years to procure, but not for the lack of trying. It had always been ingrained in me that post college life consisted of work; family, retirement and death, but I’ve always wanted something more. That something turned out to be travel and the broadening of my life experience as an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea from 2010-2011.

Living and working overseas was a great adventure which not only tested my communication skills, but my personal horizons. As I walked, toured, talked, and wandered about my imagination grew wild. Thus, my writing skills were put to great use with a never-ending supply of subjects to write about. This was lesson number one. Sometimes, not getting what you want is a life-saver.

The other lesson of course is patience. All those years ago I became frustrated about my future. My goals seemed out of reach due to not having the right experience, or not having connections. However,  once I came home opportunities opened up.

All of this and more came back to me as I listened and pondered in that library room. Despite my best laid plans I have been waylaid by something bigger and brighter. Perhaps, after all, there is room and hours enough for a few more side trips.