Optimistic or Unrealistic?

19 Nov

What defines success?

Knowledge? Beauty? Intelligence? Education? Money? Job? Fitness? Worldliness? Marital Status? College Degrees?

Is it the size of my paycheck? Or maybe the size of my jeans? Is it the number of places I’ve been? Or the number of friends I have on facebook?

I don’t know!

For many people it is so easy to follow the path set by society. High school –> College –> Entry Level Job –> Graduate School –> Better Job –> Marriage –> Promotion –> Children etc.

There is nothing wrong with this path. It’s very nice. It’s very linear. But I’m not so sure that it is for me!

I’m 25!

I feel old sometimes. I know I’m not, but I see friends back home in the middle of this type of path and I question my own choices. Am I wasting my time?

Exploring Interests

My problem has always been that I have too many interests. I always want to learn more, discover something new. That is difficult when it comes to choosing a career.


I like teaching English a lot. It is a great, flexible, way of life right now. But I don’t love it. I don’t want to do it forever. It won’t fulfill me.

I love to cook. I kind of wish I’d went to the CIA for college. But I didn’t, and I’m not about to spend four more years and countless dollars on another Bachelor’s Degree. I want to be top chef but I don’t want to spend 10 years in a hot kitchen first…

I’m starting to really enjoy technology. Starting a blog has been a great experience and I’ve already learned so much. Maybe I could pursue this interest into something profitable? Professional bloggers do exist although as I understand it is not an easy path! Not to mention I feel so far behind… the more I learn the more I realize I need to learn. PHP? SEO? HTML? SELF HOSTING? When did I fall so far behind?

What do you do?

If someone asked me this today I’m not sure I would know how to respond. Let’s try:

“Well, I live in Spain with my Spanish husband. I’m waiting for my residency card so in the meantime I’m teaching private English classes to make ends meet. I also give cooking lessons and I’m trying to improve my personal blog so that some day it might be profitable. And you?”

How does that sound?

For Now, Optimism Wins

I may eventually want to join the rat race. I honestly think that with the right job it can’t be so bad and that I might, in fact, enjoy it! But having my own business is much more enticing… So for now I’ll start small: English lessons, Cooking Classes, and My Blog.


I’ve decided to move my blog over to a self hosted service. It is not nearly as easy and intuitive as I thought it would be, but I find that it’s much more flexible in design and potential.


Please update your bookmarks, blogroll, and subscriptions– I would really appreciate it! And if you wouldn’t mind leaving a comment or two about the overall look etc. (still in progress but presentable) I’d appreciate it even more.
Thank you all so much for reading and commenting. Enjoy the rest of your weekends and please tell me– optimistic or unrealistic?

11 Responses to “Optimistic or Unrealistic?”

  1. Shana November 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    I’m glad you came to ‘optimistic.’ I’m still trying to figure that part out. Gooooood luck!!

    • Lauren November 19, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

      I feel like it’s the only way to progress! If I’m not hopeful/optimistic (and I’m often not) life doesn’t get any better– it just gets worse. I’m learning to let go a little and take things one step at a time, always being positive and hardworking, and hoping that the rewards aren’t too far off!

  2. Christine November 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    I just want you to know that your on the right path..finding what makes you happy is the most important not so much the path to get there. I wish I would of started earlier (I’ll be 43 in a few days) but I got caught up in that same path you described. When I told people I was taking a year maybe two leave from my job to come teach English 12 hrs a week in Spain I was surprised by the reactions. I did get the expected, “are you crazy to leave a tenure high paying job in NYC” to the surprising,”good for you, I wish I could do it.” I say all this to say, it takes true courage and optimism to explore your interest and find something that makes you wake up everyday and smile.
    Don’t worry..so far so good.

    • Lauren November 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

      Thanks so much for your insight Christine. Sometimes I think that if I had at least started down a career path (I came to Spain straight from college) I wouldn’t question myself so often. But since I never had that “career” experience I sometimes wonder if I’m being silly to not pursue it. I also feel like I’m not working to my potential at the moment and that’s what bothers me the most. But like I responded to Shana, little by little! Good for you for doing something new and having courage!

  3. Lauren November 19, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    I can relate as I often feel different or strange or wonder, what if! You are exactly where you are suppose to be. I’m 28 and still figuring out my “career.” I graduated college, continued working as a nanny and then set off on an unplanned adventure to Africa, Alone and returned 9 months later. I was terrified because I hadn’t “had a real job” before and had no idea what I would do but it slowly fell into place and discovered new passions. Now I’m in Spain and enjoying it but you could say it’s a detour. I’ve heard so many people say, “I wish I had done what you’re doing when I was your age.” I know it’s scary sometimes but in so many ways you’re developing other skills and have so much more perspective than if you had taken the “typical route.”

    And you’ve tapped into an important idea- your attitude and staying optimistic is everything! It’s so easy to get sucked into the fear- it’s all around us and let’s be honest, the unknown is scary! recognizing fear thoughts and changing your outlook makes a huge difference.

    I admire you and really enjoy your blog.
    Keep your head up, stay positive and trust yourself.
    This is where your suppose to be!

    P.S. Lately I’ve been secretly wishing I could go to culinary school just for my sake, not for a career or a job, just for me.

    • Lauren (Spanish Sabores) November 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

      Wow! I’m impressed… Thanks so much for your comment, the more people I see happily straying from the path the more convinced I am that it all has to go well! Thanks so much for the positive words– and call me if you ever find a good culinary program! 🙂

  4. Jimy November 20, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I went down a different path too. I think optimism and confidence will lead you to happiness. From what I read you are heading in the right direction. Definitely Optimistic, keep at it!

  5. ccwoodward1989 November 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    I’m glad to have read this…I’m a month and a half into the same auxiliar program and having come straight from graduating college this spring, I often question myself as to whether I’m making the right decision. It’s so hard to watch all my friends back home with their “real-life” jobs, working for big companies and living in Chicago or NYC, while I feel like I’m playing at life and just messing around. Sometimes I wonder if I should have headed down the career path, but then we have to remind ourselves, we have the rest of our lives to work a 9-5 job…now is our only opportunity to fly by the seat of our pants and explore before I’m tied down by a job, apartment, boyfriend/husband, family, etc. Thanks for your blog! It reassures me that this is the way to go for now, and if I decide to go back in the summer and not reapply for the program, that’s okay too because I gave it a try!

    • Lauren November 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      Exactly Courtney! I think spending at least one year abroad is a must and I’m so glad that you are giving it a try! And if you don’t feel like you want to repeat the year you can always go back. Best of luck in whatever you decide. Thanks for reading!


  1. What Do You Miss When Abroad? « spanishsabores - November 21, 2011

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