I was on my way home standing in the outbound train. I imagined that everyone around me had a job with health insurance. Some were C.E.Os and managers. I hated standing but the train was packed and I had no choice. I had 5 stops left to go from North Station to Malden Station. As always, I was thinking while other people were sleeping, talking on their cell phones, or reading. Most people don't look around while on the train, but I'm not most people. I saw an advertisement for The Boston Language Institute. It said "Teach English as a Foreign Language". My first thought was GREECE.
Most of the time, even when I’m performing tasks that require brain power, I think about my future. When I’m not thinking about it, I worry about it. Over the past few years at Malden High School, I came to countless conclusions. At one point I wanted to go into history. At another I was obsessed with algebra. For a while, I even saw myself becoming a "mad scientist". I recall my thoughts about my future through high school as insane and extremely random. The closer senior year came, the more I stressed over what to do. My strengths are languages. For the past four years I’ve taken intensive English, Spanish, and Italian courses. They’ve always come easiest to me since my native language is Greek. I always considered teaching languages. Even during my elementary and middle school years at Greek school, I would look at my teacher and think: I want to do this.
I can remember so clearly sitting in the classroom around 4:00PM everyday and talking with the other students about 'American' school as the teacher would prepare for the class. I remember being young and not taking Greek school as seriously as I took regular school. It was upstairs from a Greek Orthodox Church in an old dusty room. I couldn't wait to graduate and do better things with my life. Looking back at my Greek school days makes me regret not knowing what I know now: Exactly how much of a unique and beautiful experience Greek school should've been for me. What I remember the most is the distinct feeling that I was so different than the other kids at school. It wasn't shame or pride. I just felt different. Despite my feelings in the past, I'm relieved to say that I've realized how lucky I am to be different; to be Greek.
Even though I constantly changed my career goals, my dream remained the same. I think I was born wanting to live in Greece. Visiting there every summer was like heaven on earth for me. It was such a beautiful, amazing place where the rest of my family was, where the beaches were clean and where the weather was hot and dry. The older I became, the more I realized that I didn't want Greece to be just a "vacation place" for me anymore the way my parents would put it. I started to observe the differences and similarities between Greece and America. I would go so far as to research the countries. For weeks at a time I would compare and contrast, decide and conclude, eat, sleep, and do it all over again. I knew I was serious about relocating when I went to Greece this past summer for two months. I stopped looking at it as a vacation for two months and started saying that I was away at school for 10 months and every summer I would go back home. Despite my age and my lack of life experience at the moment, I believe that my family, friends and career goals will lead me back to my country.