For the most part of my second year at university, I had always been worried about not getting a summer internship. This is particularly important to an international student like me because not having an internship means my chance of getting a job and thus staying in the UK would be significantly lower. And I can’t really afford that. I have never thought about not living here. I can’t even imagine myself moving back to Vietnam and having a life there.
It’s really not something about Vietnam. My country is great and I’m sure many people would love to move (back) to Vietnam permanently (and have done so.) It’s just me. I have built myself a life here, I have my family, my friends here, I have grown accustomed to the culture and lifestyle here. I’ve been happier and felt more me since I came here. My identity is here. I don’t know what I would do if I have to go back, not to mention go back for good. At least, not now. Not “for good” for any place now. I haven’t decided yet.
Maybe it’s simply the fear of being stuck at one place, of feeling like the adventure has come to an end. But the adventure can’t end now. I’m only 21. I still want to go, to explore, to experience. I’m loving my life here now and I do plan to have more of it. I do plan to make money, to be independent, to try life in different countries, to be great. I just can’t give this up now. My desires and ambitions wouldn’t let me. My heart wouldn’t let me. Because deep down, I know this is the life I feel true to. This is the proof of my ability and the door to my dream future.
But I also know life is full of uncertainties. There’s nothing good about fixing my mind on anything — a relationship, a job, a place, or even a type of person I wish to become — because the nature of life is temporary and I would only be crushed 10 times harder when things suddenly fall apart. Things can fall apart — it’s a possibility I must keep in mind all the time. Though, it’s not meant to cause me fear. It’s meant to make me stronger. By accepting and embracing all what it entails, I could appreciate what I have now and finally live this life fully.
Like, maybe tomorrow, my life will take a turn and I will lose everything that ever means something to me. It sounds extreme, I know, but it can totally happen. The question is, will I freak the fuck out and believe my life is over? Will I want to kill myself? Will I kill myself? Maybe but not really. Because it doesn’t really matter. Any change will eventually become a new normal and knowing myself, I’m certain that I will find a way to have fun with it. The thing is, life is not about following plans, or reaching a destination. Cliche as it might sound, it’s all about the ride. And I’m ready to improvise.
At this point, I’ve just completed the first week of my 10-week internship. I had a great time, met great people, learned loads of new things and I truly enjoyed it. Unexpectedly, I also found a little good thing that made my heart want to hold on to. However, looking at the grand scheme of it all, and of who I’m, I realize sometimes doing nothing is better than doing too little or too much. And the reason is simple — at this stage, I can’t be sure about anything except that I don’t want to settle yet. The most I could do is go with the flow, take pleasure where I could and save it for later decision-making.
So, for now, for these beautiful confused young years, my strategy is to give my best and enjoy this ride of life, believing that somewhere down the line, things will eventually make sense. How do I do that? To enjoy the ride is to drop expectations and not exert unnatural forces on my surroundings. It means being open to new experiences, letting things unfold on their own terms while making the most of whatever comes my way. And subsequently, I will be able to stop wanting to hold onto things for fear of losing, and start living life as it is, purely out of love.
Who knows what will happen — Isn’t it the best part of this unpredictable life?