F. Scott Fitzgerald on a Growing Mind

“I’m not sure what I’ll do, but—well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.” -F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

Thank you F. Scott Fitzgerald for putting my thoughts and dreams into words. This quote describes where I am currently in life and where I want to go.

About to graduate college, I am more unsure than ever about what I will do with my life. Do I want to work in Virginia or in a new state? Do I want to work for a for profit company or a non-profit company? Do I want to work more individually or interact with people directly? Where will I be tomorrow, let alone five years from now? Just a few of the questions that have gone through my mind the past several months.

But what I do know is “I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.”

I have lived in Blacksburg, Virginia the past four years and have experienced great friendship, hardship, joy, and heartbreak in many different forms. Getting to live in and pour into a place that is small and rural has shown me that I desire to be in a place that has many people and a diverse group of people. I have learned of my passion for fighting for injustice and those who cannot fight for themselves. I have recognized my energy for adventure and trying new things. Although I have felt stuck here in Blacksburg the past couple of years, I am hopeful and excited to step into new places with new people.

Currently, I am looking to move to Portland, Oregon and hopefully be in the Portland Fellows Program. Here, I would get to move to a city I have never been and be brought into a group of people I have never met before. I cannot think of anything more exciting! I want to see places and people I have never seen before! I want to grow in ways I did not know I could! I want to be in a city where important things happen on a great scale that my mind cannot fully comprehend! The journey of curiosity and working to comprehend the incomprehensible is riveting.

I am never someone who has wanted to stay in the same place I have always been. But the majority of my life I have lived in the same places and been surrounded by the same types of people. I am eager to expand my vision of the world, see the beauty of people, and experience the unknown, as terrifying as it may be.

I think F. Scott Fitzgerald put into words what many people feel and experience graduating college, but really in any transition season. Who are we if we are not growing? Who are we if we are just living in the comfortable of what we have always known? And this does not have to mean moving across the country, but what people are you surrounding yourself with and what are the opportunities you are seeking out? Are they the same people you have always known and who think just like you? Are the opportunities similar to the ones you have experienced in the past? Because this is what I have done and I’m so bored.

People are unique and the world is vast. Let us go out and experience it. Let ourselves be uncomfortable and experience real life, wherever that may be and in whatever season you might be in. Transition seasons are great opportunities to do something different and step into the ways you have already grown and changed over the years. Transition can open up doors for people to embrace who and what they have always wanted to be and do. So often, though, we are afraid to do just that.

The fear of being alone, of falling flat on our face, and of continued rejection are some feelings that can come up in transitions. But these feelings are most likely going to come anyways so we might as well walk through the doors open to us to experience and put our dreams into action.

I believe one of the thieves of joy is passiveness. And fear is the root of passiveness. We are often people too afraid to step into our power as humans and the identity that we are worthy and valuable as we are, right now. If the only reason for not doing something is fear, then go do it. Fear is not worthy of ruling our lives and our decisions.

How can I step into new opportunities in this gift of transition?