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MIT blogger Cami M. '23

i don’t know where you’re going by Cami M. '23

but do you got room for one more troubled soul?

I’ve been contemplating the future as of late. With just a semester of my undergraduate career left, it’s hard not to. Every second of my time seemingly is spent thinking of what will be and I’ve found it hard to stay present. I’ve been enjoying my time in Madrid, though, but have found that studying abroad has only complicated my feelings on what I want the future to look like.

Had you asked me in my sophomore year of high school of what the future had in store, I would’ve told you something about graduating with a biomedical engineering degree from Johns Hopkins and pursuing animal prosthetics and biomedical devices at some grad school in the UK. Or I would’ve told you about living life as an engineer or veterinarian in London in my apartment for 1 and some incredulous number of dogs.

That was before I met my second boyfriend and then things changed. From there, the future looked like Duke University, with him close by at App State or some UNC. It was biomedical engineering and dates by the lake and stone buildings.

And when I got rejected from Duke, it transformed into semesterly visits to North Carolina from Boston, and vice versa. It was supposed to be late night Discord calls while carefully balancing my social life at MIT. It was meant to be four years of college with the end goal of hilly expanses and far too expensive apartments with the Golden Gate Bridge draped in the background. Our names inscribed into the Bay.

But when we broke up, that future shattered into a million pieces and it became limitless. Untethered by the wants of anyone else except for myself. I imagined a life of biomedical devices, then a life of software, a life of grad school. I dreamed of Los Angeles beaches, of London fog, of New York City lights.

Now that future that I’ve dreamed of is rapidly approaching, becoming more solid in form, more real. The image that forms my head is a little fuzzy, splashes of vivid colors here and there and buildings I don’t quite recognize, but want to know. Seeing without glasses.

Raymond is in my life now, and I hope he continues to stay here01 I hope forever, but things are always subject to change in this world. and so now I’m back to compromising.02 Which I've grown okay with. And of course he has to compromise, too.

When I think of the future now, I see cushy New York apartments in the upper east side. I see a dog skittering up and down wooden floors and walks to Central Park. Biannual trips to Europe and hot chocolate under the light of the Eiffel Tower with Raymond by my side. Flights home to southern California and Christmases with family, incessantly asking about my life officially as an east coast NYC savant.

But as I spend more time in Madrid, this image morphs into something else. I see late nights in a drunken stupor at Teatro Kapital,03 Famous night club in Madrid. or study sessions in the dawn light of an Oxford library. Sometimes it’s the Santa Monica pier for a quick bite before attending a Netflix premiere red carpet in the heart of LA. Or sitting on a bench in Amsterdam as I complete my thesis for my Media Studies degree. The future continues to change, shattering and splintering into endless possibilities when I know that only one can exist in this reality and I begin to panic.

How do I know what’s right? How do I choose correctly?

There’s so much left in my life I want to accomplish. I want to become fluent in Spanish, I want to write a novel, I want to get a PhD in media studies, I want to be closer to the entertainment industry and get invited to fancy movie and show premieres and meet celebrities, I want to get better at video editing and making, I want to learn how to cook properly, I want to become a veterinarian.

And I get scared that I’ve wasted my opportunity at MIT to lead me down one of these proper paths. Did I do it right? Did I make the necessary series of choices to lead me down a path that maximizes my happiness?

I’m finding it harder and harder to be more decisive, to commit to a single path. I wander in a sea of what ifs, a forest of I’ll never knows, constantly wondering if the grass really is greener on the other side. Perhaps my reservations for commitment are indicative of a deeper issue, but we’ll save that for another blog.

Regardless, I just want to be happy. And that seems to be the thing that repeats in my head over and over again, a mantra that makes its way to the surface every time I make a decision or choice. Is this the way I can be happy?

I may be making myself out to be more flighty than I actually am. I’ve gone through MIT without a fixed plan, bending to the will of whatever my whims ask for next, and it seems to have worked out. I have a strong belief that whichever path I choose will be a good path; it’s the waiting. It’s the wondering. It’s the worry regarding the unknown.

Lately, though, these fears that originally arose from my Madrid trip have been quelled by it, too. As I’ve gone to visit so many different institutions and museums, I’ve come to meet so many people who have found their way back to Spain. I see myself in the people here. In the visiting scholars at the Instituto Internacional. In the volunteers and workers at the Reina Sofia. In the students reading books under warm lights of lavish cafés. Upon arriving here, I had been convinced that this was a path I was giving up. By choosing the New York City lifestyle, I was sacrificing this one. But as time continued here, I realized that I was wrong. That there are ways in which I can do it all. That it’s okay to want it all.

Cushy New York apartments, London cobbled streets, Madrid cafes and Parisian hot chocolate. Amsterdam studies and Philippine island sojourns. Fancy galas in warm LA sunsets in the congested streets of Hollywood. A life with my dogs, a life with Raymond, a life with children. White picket fences in suburbs that kiss the outskirts of citylines. Late nights of studying and practice surgeries and climbing the ladder. A grand return to Boston, this time older and wiser, to do it all over again.

I don’t know where I’m going, but I hope wherever I walk, it’s somewhere good and somewhere beautiful. Somewhere where I can grow just as much as I did at MIT, where I can thrive like I did here.

  1. I hope forever, but things are always subject to change in this world. back to text
  2. Which I've grown okay with. And of course he has to compromise, too. back to text
  3. Famous night club in Madrid. back to text