I am 22.

I have a degree. I have a job. I have family and friends.

But I feel somewhat adrift. The path that has guided me for the past 22 years has ended. I have been in school since I was three years old. For the last 19 years, I have not only known what I would be doing the next day, but I knew what the next year held for me. Although I knew, academically (get it?), that this was coming, I did not prepare for it. I didn’t know how to prepare for it. And now it is here.

And it’s really just the same thing. I wake up in the morning, I go where I am supposed to, when I am supposed to, and I come home. I still struggle to eat healthy, socialize, exercise, and read all of the things that I want to read. I still have a hard time focusing on work for more than 30 minutes at a time. I just have to do it all within a much more rigid timeframe.

But I don’t know what the next year holds. And, for the first time, I am not bound by obligations. I have no degrees waiting for me at the other end of the year, no college applications upon which my future depends. I’ve got a little money in the bank, and more coming. Theoretically, I could pay off my car payments and just leave.

I don’t think I will. Instead, I want to make something of what I have. I want to be content. The name of this blog, and of this inaugural post, comes from the first line of Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata: “Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” This seems like advice I can heed.

My hope for this blog is multifold. First, it will serve as a pressure valve. Second, it will allow me to write. Finally, I hope that the practice of writing helps me to become a better writer. Fair warning through, this will not be pretty. The topics will range from foreign policy and national security to hip hop and healthcare. I don’t think I will ever find a heady group of followers. But I will try to update it relatively frequently.

I really do have so much. I have a loving family. I have great friends. I have a job. I have a degree. And when all is said and done, I have enjoyed walking the path that was set before me. But now it’s time to chart my own.

The Desiderata ends with four words:

Strive to be happy.