Why is there so much pressure in society to have everything figured out? We have to know exactly what we’re doing now, and know exactly what’s going to happen tomorrow. We’re expected to know exactly who we are. But that’s not fair.
It’s okay to not know what you’re doing, whether you’re a freshman in college or a freshman in high school, whether you’re ten or forty. It’s okay to feel a little lost from time to time. It’s okay to try something and fail, and then try something else. It’s okay to have an end goal in sight and not know how to reach it. It’s okay to be graduating high school and not know what job you’re going to do when you’re thirty, it’s okay to be in college and not know what you’re going to do. It’s okay to not know what your purpose in life is, to not know what direction you’re heading in. It’s also okay to be halfway down a path and not know how to reach the end. It’s okay to be at a fork in the road, where one path is the path that you’ve always traveled down, the other is something that you’ve dreamed of your whole life, and pick the latter. Forge your own path in life, and don’t be afraid to take the detours.
But, for the love of all things bright and beautiful, don’t settle. As the poet Charles Bukowski once said, “If you’re going to try, go all the way.” You have to keep going, you have to abandon the familiar for new ideas. Don’t lose yourself, your hopes, your dreams, in something that you don’t want. Look forward to the future and journey towards it, don’t lose yourself in the past. You can’t get to the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading the last one. Keep trying. Keep looking to the future and spend every waking moment trying to get to that future that you dream of.
Don’t feel alone in your feeling of being lost. There are so many people who don’t know what they’re doing. Especially if you’re young. The magic about being young is being able to change your mind. No one really expects you to actually have your life figured out. You can change your mind. You can start over.
Don’t feel bad for not knowing what you’re doing. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t know what I want more to be thirty and have my life all figured out, or five years old and not be expected to have my life figured out at all. I want to have everything figured out, but I know that figuring out is the best part. I can make decisions, screw things up, and change my mind. You should never feel ashamed of feeling lost. Feeling lost means that you can still change things. Feeling lost means that you still have the ability to see other paths and options. When you’re thinking about giving up, remember why you started in the first place.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Ernest Hemingway, who, if you haven’t figured out by now, is one of my favorites:
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”