We live our lives constantly thinking of the future, expecting to have all the answers. We’re expected to decide at a young age what we want to spend our entire lives doing and decide what to study accordingly, when all we really care about at that age is what the latest movies are in cinemas.
We feel the need to have a purpose, to have a passion, to make a difference. But how, why or what are we supposed to do to figure it out? Those are answers that can go unanswered for years and instead of enjoying the ride of getting to know ourselves better on the journey of self-discovery, we end up feeling pressured, lost and confused.
What is happiness? Is it a feeling we get when we check off certain points on our checklists that have been programmed into us from an early age? Is it really that difficult to be happy without having everything figured out? I used to believe that happiness was doing something I love, being with someone I love or planning for the future. But along the way, I came to realize that happiness is not a destination, but a state of mind. People can choose to be happy or not, they can choose to look at what they have at the moment and either feel disappointment or appreciate the little things and be optimistic.
We spend our entire lives living for tomorrow, for the future, that we forget to actually live the moment. We work shitty jobs to earn money and end up losing our identity and passions along with that feeling of joy because we are only doing what is expected of us. And even if we don’t like the decisions we’ve made, it was always expected of us to have an answer, a vision, a pathway that leads to success or happiness or whatever preconceived notion we’ve been brainwashed with, than not have an answer at all.
I remember that Baz Luhrmann song, “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen”, and how I’d listen to it over and over again until I came to my favourite part: “Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.”
And even though I hope I have a clue by the time I’m 40 with what the hell I want to do with my life, I find comfort and hope in knowing that this is not a problem I have on my own.
Take a look at the decisions you’ve made because you had to, and you’ll realize that they weren’t always the right ones. Yes, we can’t postpone things forever, but we shouldn’t be pressured and lured into taking action or making decisions just because we’re supposed to.
How many of us have the courage to start all over after investing years of our lives in a field we don’t feel we fit in? It’s not that easy seeing years and effort gone to waste and having the courage to stand up and say, I will not allow myself to be miserable for the rest of my life – that takes a lot of nerve. But sometimes, it’s what needs to be done.
I recently came across a part in Alice in Wonderland that made me able to pinpoint this exact thought. We don’t have to know where we’re heading, especially if we don’t have a destination in mind. And the bright side is, if we don’t like the route we chose, we can just pivot anytime we want. It is our life after all, right?
When it was my time to choose a field to study and pick a university, I had no idea what I wanted to do and ended up choosing by eliminating what I really didn’t want to do. The next year and a half of my life was a complete disaster and filled with an unimaginable amount of misery because I am not the kind of person that can suck it up and do something I’m not happy with for the rest of my life. I had a choice to make: either continue the path I chose, or accept that I wasted a year and a half of my life and start over. I chose the latter, and to this day, it was the best decision I ever made.
After graduating and working in five different fields, I still have no idea what I want to do with my life, but I know that I don’t have to know, but that we’re here to experience different possibilities until one day, we find the reason we’re here on this planet.
I’d like to think that my purpose is deeper than painting shoes and you having to put up with my thoughts in writing, but with every turn, I find out a little more about myself, about the world and about the journey, and it is one hell of a roller-coaster ride. So buckle up, because we’ve still got a long way to go!
WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss 60 Random Ways To Get Inspired.