To be completely honest, it's lonely being back on this side of the "real world". I spend a lot of time talking to myself-- doubting, reassuring, convincing myself that it's ok to do things differently. It's ok to not follow the same paths as my classmates. I think it was out of this loneliness that I applied for a full time position. I wanted someone to collaborate on projects with and bounce ideas off of. I wanted a sounding board to know when my choices are in line and if I'm stepping towards the right direction.
But then I realized that I was just seeking validation from external sources. I wanted a job title and a salary that summed up "who I am" in a couple simple words, without having to put in the work of defining who I am for myself.
I thought about my friends' careers and how it seemed like everyone is working their day job until they can find the right time to quit and do their own thing. I've invested a lot into my freelance work and the momentum has picked up since I graduated in May. If I can sustain my lifestyle, then why give the next 2 to 5 years of my life working for another company? Just to be safe? Comfortable? Accepted?
I can deal with the relative discomfort of an ambiguous path as long as I can wake up doing what I love everyday of my life. When I stop loving what I do, then I will seek an alternate path. Right now I choose the present.