Today is the day I have everything figured out. At least, it was supposed to be.
It’s been 4 months since I’ve graduated college and this transitional stage has left me feeling like I belong nowhere and everywhere all at the same time.
What I’ve found is that everyone loves to give sage advice on your life when you’re having an existential crisis. It’s exhausting having everyone tell me, “You’re doing exactly what you need to be doing”, “You’ll be just fine, everything works out”, and ”Enjoy this time, you have the rest of your life to work.” Like Jesus Christ, I’m an intelligent kid and I’m well aware of these “truths,” but it doesn’t make me less content with my current status change from student to unemployed.
During my summer of traveling, I thought I would have some grand epiphany on the Great Wall of China about my future career path, home, and lifestyle. I set myself up with a deadline that after my travels, I would know what my next steps where going to be.
Hence today, as I have just gotten back from my cross country road trip and, therefore, is the first day of the great unknown of what’s to come.
I’ve always been someone who stays busy and involved, knowing the general outline of my weeks, months, and years. College gave me the structure for my life and now that I am left with no structure or clear paths, this freedom can often feel more restricting than liberating.
Understand, however, that this crisis is not a panic and that my feelings are not stress as much as discontent.
I’m very uncomfortable right now.
And that is ok. Because I am also happy and have given myself time to experience the world, try new things, and live freely for the first time.
I initially thought I’d gain this perspective once I found my first full time job and moved to a new city. However, wanting to have my shit together is not an excuse to put my life on hold, making my happiness conditional.
These timelines we construct for ourselves are often fueled by other’s fears and expectations. What is sensible? What is practical? What the right move is for one is not always the right move for others. It is much easier to make a safe choice then revel in the discontent of the unknown, waiting. Don’t let these safe choices look more desirable than your actual happiness.
My next steps are something I think a lot about and that gives me a decent amount of anxiety, but I also know that actively pursuing things I enjoy and living my life authentically will lead me to the places I should be.
It’s a beautiful practice of patience and faith in your own intuition, but I am learning to just “be” in the discomfort, working with it and not against it.