Moving Across the Country with a Dollar and a Dream


Moving Across the Country with a Dollar and a Dream

By: Raygen Samone

We just passed the ‘Welcome to Kansas’ sign, and I’m contemplating why my adult cousin has his left foot out the window, a knee on the steering wheel, one hand in a bucket of sunflower seeds, and the other being used to swipe right. I’m halfway into a fourteen hour trip across the country, and the pit of my stomach has become home to butterflies. Let me explain, three months ago I walked across a stage to commence four years, $160,000, God-knows how many tears worth of sleepless nights, and too many paychecks splurged on McDonalds’ Strawberry smoothies. I’d done it! College. The epitome of my young adult life; everything after should be a breeze. Right? Sike.

As graduation approached I became terrified at explaining my life plan to, well, everyone. I needed to be doing something that was aligned with my major; impressive, yet sensible. So, I applied: everywhere. Just a week before crossing the stage, I accepted a 9-5 at a non-profit with a 401K, opportunities for promotion, and a description simple enough for my grandpa to brag on me.

I crossed the stage, got through the parties, cashed the checks, threw away the cards, and recited my answer to the age old question: So! What are you going to do now?! It was only after the dust of senior year settled that I realized: Wait a minute. I have a job I don’t even want right now! So I did what I should have done months ago; sought counsel, prayed for discernment and asked my momma to tell me the truth. After all that, reader, well. I chose to be young and free with a college degree. That brings us to where we began.

Graduation was such a hard transition for me, because my sanity was dependent on strangers definitions of success. But come on. What is success and failure? Are they goals to be attained? Relationships to have achieved? A bank account to uphold? A life to be well lived, maybe?

I decided to change the question people were asking. Instead of So! what are you going to do? which serves as a very nuanced and open ended tell-me-how-youre-going-to-make-the-world-better, I asked myself So, Ray. What’s first? Oh, the freedom! You mean what I do after college doesn’t have to be how ill spend the rest of my life!?!? No, boo. No.

With nothing but a hundred dollars, my greatest assets, and a bullet journal full of my biggest dreams, I’m daring to reimagine how this whole life thing works. Don’t get me wrong; I’m terrified of the unknown. But I’m free.

So, beauty, what’s first?