In the past few days I’ve received several messages from friends who can be counted among those cool enough to check out my bloggy blog. It’s really interesting because the gist of those messages has been “thanks for writing about your experience. I’m going through the exact same thing.” The funny thing is that I’m getting these from some of the very people who inspired me to do something more with my life. They always appeared to me to have it together and to be doing exactly what they want to do. I guess it’s a grass is always greener thing.. but I have to wonder: WTF is going on with all of us? Why are we so unsettled?
Sometimes I think the problem is that our generation has been given too many options. We’ve always been told we can do whatever we want. Between TV and the Internet we’re exposed to so many different things it becomes hard to ferret out what truly interests us. I think, when we graduate high school, we also feel a lot of pressure to choose NOW. How can you possibly have enough life experience at that point to really know what direction you want your life to go in? I mean, some people do… and that’s fantastic. Some people always know and have the drive to go after it. But I think the majority of us change so much in our early 20’s that, by the time we hit 25, we feel like we’re entering the midlife crisis zone. It’s the awkward teenager phase all over again except, instead of not knowing what the hell our bodies are doing, we can’t figure out our own minds.
I’m starting to think this is the wrong way to look at it. This inability to settle shouldn’t be viewed as a crisis, it should be viewed as a gift. It’s not that we CAN’T settle. It’s that we AREN’T WILLING TO. And that can be a beautiful thing. It’s an opportunity to try different things and not feel guilty if they don’t work out. So what if you went to school for something and now you hate it? You tried something and it didn’t work out. SO WHAT? Don’t waste your time focusing on the failure, see it as an opportunity to grow and change. Just add it to the list of things you know you don’t want to do. It gets you one step closer to finding the thing that will bring you joy.
So, there’s my self help guru moment of the day. ‘Cause, you know, I’m totally in a place where I should be doling out advice (sarcasm people, SARCASM). Now I want to pose a couple of questions. What did you want to be when you were younger? What was that one thing that excited you, gave you that spark that you needed to get through the awfulness that is highschool? Did you give it up? Why? We may not have had the life experience at that age to choose the right career path, but we did have the time and innocence to follow our guts and dream.
I used to want to be a writer and a singer. Both faded out for me because I convinced myself that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. Plus, you know, “those aren’t realistic career choices.” I didn’t do either for a very long time. This venture into blogging is the first writing I’ve done for myself in years. And you know what? It feels DAMN good.