If you were to take the time to scroll back a couple of months on good ol’ SheBlogs SheBlogs you would see that when we moved to Philly I totally lost it and had a serious mental breakdown. Contrary to what I had supposed, when presented with day after day to accomplish all of my life’s goals and dreams, I had absolutely no idea what to do.
So like a foolish little animal with its leg trapped in a cage I struggled and struggled and exhausted all of my energy. When I was completely drained and deranged I started to gnaw my foot off.
I became totally obsessed with trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life. I would pester Eric and say, “Just tell me what I should do, and I’ll do it. Should I go to grad school? Should I go to culinary school? Should I take an art class? JUST TELL ME! WHAT AM I GOOD AT???!!!” All of this spare time made me feel like I needed to take some huge drastic step towards becoming the person I’m supposed to become. Or that I feel like I’m “supposed” to become.
I asked my mom, my sister, my friends, strangers in the elevator, “What should I DO WITH MY LIFE!?”
And shockingly no one told me. Meanwhile I had thought of like a dozen life plans for other people. I was doling them out left and right. Hooking people up with internships, helping them write Grad School Admittance essays, and yet no one seemed to have any answers for the crazy fox!
It wasn’t until I had completely mutilated and mangled myself to a bloody pulp that I realized three things:
1. I was thinking about myself WAY too much and when I do that I become horribly catty and whiny.
2. Not being sure what to do with your life because there are so many options is such a bourgeoisie complaint.
3. I don’t have to figure it all out right now.
I think when we’re younger we assume that when we grow up we will know what to do with our lives. And then we are grown up and most of us have no clue what to do. So we go to college and get a degree thinking maybe THEN we’ll know what to do. But then you graduate and even if you are going to be a doctor or a lawyer, or something set like that, you STILL have to choose a direction. You still have to choose a city or a company or an emphasis. And then, yet again, we have to figure out where to go from there. You naively think getting married or having kids will be some sort of solution, but it just complicates things.
I’m sure other people have realized this as well, but like most things in life they are new and novel to you when you experience them. (Which is why bands like Hawthorne Heights and Plain White T’s continue to emerge.) When I was shrieking at my mom, recent “empty nester” with a Master’s degree and huge list of accomplishments, about my dilemma she said, “I’m 55-years-old and I still don’t know what I should do.”
It’s hard to slow down the rat race that is my brain, but in the last couple weeks I’ve managed to do so. I guess I just felt like sharing because I think this is a problem a lot of people have. And if you’re anything like me you might look around at every stranger you pass on the street and think, “They’ve got their life figured out! Why can’t I?!”
As for now I’m following the advice of my father. He always says the only way to figure out what you want to do with your life is to just start doing things. Which I think means not always holding out for the dream job, not waiting to start something until you have every little step planned out, and basically just getting to work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ACTUALLY going to get a part time job or anything, but I’m going to start producing a lot more crap.
I love you all. I hope you all find happiness and love.
I am still, however, taking life plan suggestions. So if you have any, send ’em my way.