What’s Next?

Recently I have been quite confused.

Where will I be next? What’s my next goal?

“What’s next” is always a challenging question. It is a lot harder than situations when we complain “WTF” or “FML”. Because the former falls into uncertainty, when the latter express difficulties. Per one of my psychology professors in university, difficulties don’t usually drive people crazy, but uncertainties do.

I have a brief plan for the next couple of weeks. I know where I will be for the next 2 months. But what happens after that? Where would I be? What would I be doing?

Travel? I have been doing that once a month. I am not sure if I want to travel for 3,4 months, or if I would even have someone to travel with, or I would have the budget to travel.

School? That’s not a question for me. That’s a question for the schools…

Work? If I am going to school in August, I am not sure if anyone wants a person to work for them for 4 months. That sounds too short to accomplish anything significant.

Volunteer? Recently, the price for volunteering abroad has gone up significantly. And I usually volunteer as I work on other stuff. For example, I’ve finally started translating Khanacademy videos to Chinese lately.

More research? I admit that I love social innovation stuff. But I am a bit lost on what the research could lead to. Research for the sake of researching is meaningless, unless it has direct impacts to practitioners or policy makers. I am still figuring this out. And as I am doing this research, I am pouring my personal savings into a blackhole. It is probably more expensive than backpacking travel. It’s not likely I would stay here longer after my teammates leave. (We also should leave some research for the next group of kids.)

One of the professors I did work-study in school for, Professor Janet Salaff, had once told me about one of her main research themes – where do immigrants end up. She said immigrants usually end up where their partners are. It doesn’t matter where their parents are, where their families are or where their friends are. I agreed with her at that time, but still had doubt in this strong statement. As I get older, I start to see more friends make such choices and realized her conclusion was absolutely true. The whole world’s worth is almost all on that one person. It’s not to down play the importance of friendship and family support. It is just how people usually make choices.

Sometimes I wonder why I float around like a ghost. I seek a place I belong. I hope the next place I am going to will give me the answer. I am also aim to go where my dream is, although I might end up where my other half is… >< ( I am so clueless…)


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