It seems I've mindlessly wandered into the delightful time of the year where everyone I speak to asks "so what are you going to do with your life?" This question always seemed much more pleasant when I was in high school. The answers were all laid out for me, like a perfectly rehearsed little speech. The same goes for the first three years of college- it was still just the same old speech, maybe with the added on part time job or changed relationship status, but nevertheless it was still, well... Simple.
Lately, the only thing that's simple is the differentiation between when I get to eat breakfast lunch and dinner, and some days that even blurs together. Everything else in my life seems to be meeting in secret to overcomplicate things as much as they can. I feel a looming sense of paranoia that the entire universe knows that I don't know what I'm doing with my life. Seriously though.. The person in the check out line at trader joes even asks condescendingly "so what are your plans?" "HOW DARE YOU ASK ME THAT EVEN THOUGH I KNOW YOU HAVE NO CLUE THAT I DON'T KNOW AND ARE JUST TRYING TO BE FRIENDLY" I scream in my head as I calmly say out loud, "You know, I'm just not sure yet." And they always say with a smile, "that is just fine."
And I'm starting to think that maybe it is. Maybe it is just fine not to know. To be sitting in this place of unfamiliarity with zero floor plans laid out, to learn to appreciate the free fall.
I've only been here 22 years, but there are handfuls of things that I think are made very obvious to us at a young age-we're just too oblivious and obsessed with ourselves to see them. I'm certain that I've only uncovered a few of them, but here they are;
How you do whatever you're doing means a lot more than what you're doing. You could read every manual, memorize every step by step guide on a certain thing, you could get incredibly good at this thing, the very best at it- but then you step on people to get there, and when it comes time to doing the thing, you go about it like a jerk. And then you're right back at square one. And you won't have gotten anywhere, because it's more important to be good then to be good at something.
People think about you a lot less than you think people think about you. No one is staring at your mismatched socks in the check out line at the grocery store, don't flatter yourself. And if they are, they're probably thinking- "huh, yep been there." Not "OH MY GOD HOW EMBARRASSING FOR THEM." People aren't gossiping about you because you're a horrible person or because you're royalty walking in their presence, they're gossiping about you because we have small minds and we fall back on gossip when we're done talking about television and sports.
The things you love make you a better person. If you think for a second you're passionate about something, you're passionate about it. When you come across things that provide you with a different way of being human, a better way, a way that feels sort of like you're at the top of a roller coaster- those are the things you need to hold onto. They are important. They're not hobbies, they're in the fabric of who you are supposed to be during your time on earth. Don't take that lightly.
Living a perfect life is BS. No one has everything. Everyone has stuff behind their doors that they wouldn't dare show anyone. I know you're nodding your head as you read this and saying, "yeah, obviously no one has a perfect life." It's a blatantly obvious fact. Why don't we remember to remember it?
Quit sticking your foot in your mouth. I don't care if you're 17, 22 or 37- You know better. Every human being carries around all this wisdom clanging around like loose change in their pockets, no matter their age. We can all hear it in there, but then we reach in our pockets and pull out chewed gum with lint stuck to it. We're better than we make ourselves out to be. Believe that.
Those seem like small things, but I'm sitting here holding them in my hands like mined gold. I'm so glad I've found them, rather I'm so glad they've found me. To think of the magician God is, how He's hidden all these little tricks and unexpected presents and that when we pull them out of a hat we're much more excited than we expected to be. It's a mending feeling knowing that there will be seasons that I won't have a clue what I'm doing. I'll wander through a lot of strange little unknown towns without a map and I'll be asking everyone I see for directions- they won't know how to tell me where to go, but they can tell me where they are. And I'm really starting to think the wisdom doesn't come from being there, it comes from getting there. As cheesy as it sounds, friends, we all know that the fun of the Easter egg hunt was never seeing all the eggs laid out at the end, but the searching and the celebrating on the way.