Earlier last week, my parents and I had a passionate debate about the merits of seemingly-frivolous pursuits.
I dreamt of longer endurance races, solo roadtrips, and extended time abroad. They just wanted me to prepare for next summer's internship search, seriously contemplate life after graduation, and figure my life out. They were afraid that I'd invest all my energy into training and traveling, forgetting the reality of becoming an independent adult.
I understood and sympathized, but I firmly believe that I can continue to balance my quest for self-growth in more spheres than just the practical. Perhaps I'm blinded by my upbringing in a financially-stable household, but I believe that there's a whole lot more to life than making a living.
Futhermore, my seemingly-frivolous endeavors have shaped me immensely. As a sports-skeptic turned avid endurance athlete, I've learned that we are capable of much more than we imagine. From injuries, I've learned that unfortunate occurences don't have to stay that way--they can be blessings in disguise. They can push you to address your weaknesses and become even stronger. Running has empowered me in all spheres of my life, and that is so much more valuable to me than a stale resume-boosting experience.
As for my street-style blog? Well, if I didn't have my street style blog, I may not be studying abroad at Oxford next spring. Because of my penchant for capturing stylish passersby, I met an upperclassman from whom I was able to garner study abroad insight. Celine, the lovely human in the crisp white button-down and navy peacoat, had studied abroad for a year in Paris and Oxford. I was absolutely lost on what to do last winter (where to apply and how long to go), so we emailed back and forth over break.
She told me to ask myself, "What is the most singular experience I can have only at this stage of my life?" I'd originally planned to apply to schools in Australia and New Zealand in the spring, but I realized that I could always enjoy the cultural highlights of those destinations later. I wouldn't, however, always be able to study at the University of Oxford (my freshman year dream).
And the rest is history. My passions, however unrelated to paving a career, have nonetheless influenced my life in just as valuable ways. So, as I seek balance, I will keep on chasing them.