I have a box. I can neither touch it or see it, but I know it’s there. Why? Because I can feel it and I also created it myself. It’s a box with one of my greatest fears inside. The fear of not knowing where I’m going to end up in my life. I keep this box hidden far back in my mind because I’m determined to believe that it doesn’t exist.
I’m a confused individual when it comes to my future. I may not be the only one, but I definitely feel like it. I have so many interests and I went with one that I felt I could use later. It took me two years and four undergraduate major change forms for me to settle in the Asian Studies major. I was accepted into the University of California: Santa Barbara (my dream school) while I was living in L.A. and decided that I wanted to double degree not only in Global Studies but Journalism or Creative Writing. I had some short stories I could show, I was so excited. And then my Father decided he didn’t want me to stay in California, so he told me he wouldn’t help me with school and I ended up at FIU in the Asian Studies department. Members of my family and friends also told me that journalism wasn’t a secure career. That it would be hard and near impossible to get a job especially in this economy and that it would be best to stay in Asian Studies and minor in Business. At least I would be able to get a job with an international business and/or with the government. All I wanted to do in my life was see new places and try new things, so I listened and stayed with only Asian Studies. I was secure and confident in my decision.
At least until today.
Jasmine Kripalani , a guest speaker in my journalism class and a reporter for CBS, was a dose of medicine I wasn’t ready for. A heavy dose that left me with a bitter taste in my mouth that I know for a long time won’t go away. Here was a girl smiling and speaking about her passion for journalism. She was so happy with what she was doing, her face glowed and throughout that hour I began to envy her. That nasty green eyed monster called Jealousy started oozing out of me, I couldn’t help myself. Why, you ask? Why, Diandra, are you envious of a girl who has a passion for journalism? Because the passion that she has for journalism, I don’t have for my major. Somewhere within the last year and a semester away from graduatioin, my major began to seem more like a chore to me and I don’t have that passion anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Asian Studies. I love learning about culture and language. I watch Korean television for literally six hours out the day. But I’ve always had a passion for writing. As much as I tried to walk away from creative writing and journalism, there’s always been something that told me don’t turn your back to it. That’s when I realized this was the reason why I put myself in this class. I could have taken a Chinese language class, I could have taken Asian film, but I ended up picking Intro to Journalism because I wanted to see if words, my passion for words, was still there or not. And though I hate to admit it, it’s still there in that box I began to forget about. By listening to Jasmine speak about internships, stories, and her research methods I kept wishing it was me. That I had written in the local newspapers, that I was out there asking questions, that I was seeing the world for what it was: a place filled with memories, experiences, and stories that need to be shared.
So when she said “who will try and get published at the end of the week?”, when my professor said ” who wants to write for our school newspaper The Beacon?”, I thought I can do this. I can really do this. But then I heard my family’s voice and I began to fill myself with doubts. I wasn’t a journalism major, I have never had anything published, and truly I don’t know anything about how to write an story or even how to find one. Even though I had blogs, I had no idea about how to write for a newspaper. All I knew was how to write my thoughts. That type of thing wouldn’t make me last in the journalism world. But inside, I feel that this is something I can do. Jasmine Kripalini taught me that what you are happy to be doing is probably what you should be doing for the rest of your life.
So I’ve made a decision. It may be far-fetched but I want to write about culture and travel. I want to write about what other countries and lifestyles not like our own have to offer. I want to write about cultural anthropology, languages, intercultural communication, and international problems. I feel that my road to happiness is to blend my two loves and do something with it. By using my Asian Studies degree for this, it makes me feel that sparkle Asian studies first gave me. It surprises me that all it took was one girl to smile while she spoke about her career and challenge me. And I don’t think I going to back down for this one.