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By Brianna Wiest
If you ask any young adult what their primary stressor in life is, it’s likely something that relates to uncertainty. If you were to boil it down to a sentence, it would be something along the lines of: “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.”
How many times have you heard someone say that? (How many times have you said that?) Probably a lot. The idea that we should know is a heaping pile of socially crafted bullshit that’s been superimposed on our psyches since kindergarten, and it’s holding us back.
Nobody – not one of us – knows “what we’re doing with our lives.” We can’t summarize the big picture, not yet. We don’t know what we’ll be doing in 5 years, and pretending that we can predict that isn’t being responsible or ambitious, it’s cutting ourselves off from living according to our inner navigation systems as opposed to the narrative we once thought would be right.
You owe nothing to your younger self.
You are not responsible for being the person you once thought you’d be.
But you do owe something to the adult you are today.
Do you know why you don’t have the things you once thought you wanted? Do you know why you’re not the person you once thought you’d be? Because you don’t want those things anymore. Not badly enough. If you did, you’d have and be them.
If you’re wondering “what you should do with your life,” it’s likely that you’re in the limbo between realizing you don’t want what you once did, and giving yourself permission to want what you want now.
Thinking you know what you’re “doing with your life” quells your hunger. It soothes your mind with the illusion that your path is laid out before you, and that you no longer have to choose, which is another way to say, you’re no longer responsible for becoming the person you want and need to be.
Hunger is important. Complete fulfillment is the fast track to complacency. People don’t thrive when they’re fulfilled. They stagnate.
So fuck knowing what you’re “going to do with your life.”
What are you doing today? Who do you love? What intrigues you? What would you do today if you could be anyone you wanted? If social media didn’t exist? What do you want to do this weekend?
“What do I want” is a question you need to ask yourself every day. The things that run true will weave through your life, the ones that pop back up again and again are the ones you’ll follow. They’ll become the places you remain, the people you’re drawn to, the choices you make. The core truths will win out, even if other truths are lodged beside them.
Listening to it is saying: What do I want now?
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