“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”- C.S. Lewis.
Although I’m not usually much of an inspirational quote person, this adage has developed meaning for me over the past months. In college, I had 7 majors. Nearly all were selected solely on the merits of practicality. I was an accounting major, a finance major, a psychology major, a criminal justice major, a political science major, a journalism major, and eventually landed back on a criminal justice.
At that time, I was a very conservative Arizona republican. I grew up in a middle class rural household. Our weekends were spent camping, country music was prevalent, and I dreamed of owning a large diesel pickup truck with an ATV in the back. I considered sustainability to be a joke and made fun of people who lived an environmentally conscious lifestyle. I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career, so largely bounced between the college majors with the highest income potential or the most interesting classes.
6 years later, I find myself happily evolved into an entirely different person. I’ve converted our entire household to LED lighting, any appliance or fixture needs to be high efficiency, and I own a low mileage efficient car. I purchased a manual Fiskars lawnmower to avoid greenhouse gas emissions, but decided this week that the waste involved with a lawn in AZ is still excessive. As a result, I’ll be starting the xeriscaping process as well to develop a more efficient landscape which compliments the environment here in the Sonoran Desert.
Why do I bring all of this up? As a college educated millennial, I’ve done quite well for myself. My career has quickly gained momentum and I’ve accomplished the “American dream”. I have a 9 to 5 corporate job which provides a stable income. However, through current events around me, I don’t feel as though this is enough. I can continue to accumulate wealth and possessions, but, considering the numerous global perils which exist today, I’m not comfortable allowing the measure of my success to be a number in a bank account. While I appreciate design and expensive bicycles, I’ve decided that I need to pursue something further. After all, “you can’t take it with you”. Consequently, I’m actively pursuing further education in sustainability while utilizing my personal interest in journalism.