I’ve always been someone who ‘knew what they wanted.’ As a young girl, this felt more along the lines of a curse rather than a blessing, as I was constantly catching myself wishing myself out of age-appropriate scenarios, that I felt I had already mentally ‘outgrown.’ While there are plenty of upsides to getting a head-start on your passions and life goals, it also managed to manifest a good amount of anxiety, and to my dismay, an inability to relate to my peers who lacked similar fervent ‘life-direction’.
I’ll spare (all of) the gritty details, but: post-college, I found myself accumulating a newfound respect- and patience – for people in previously mentioned positions. I found myself to be my own version of that, as I faced so much unfamiliarity that my 18+ years of studying, dreaming, planning, and writing, couldn’t – and wouldn’t – excuse me from. During this time, one of the biggest lessons in my life was the beauty and importance of grace. As a self-proclaimed go-getter, since essentially birth, you could say I quickly developed a harshness to me. A kind of callousness that would allow me to write-off anyone and anything that threatened to interfere with my goals. The concept of cultivating a softer and gentler side of myself felt incredibly vulnerable and foreign. Intensity and efficiency were all I had prioritized for so long, but it was time to evolve past that version of myself.
Since then, I have had countless lessons in grace: forgiving myself for mistakes I could have ‘easily avoided’, giving myself space to experiment, and not always feel the need to know the answer right off the bat. My relationships feel a new sense of depth, as I’ve been able to approach them with more empathy, and a desire to understand the other person, vs. jumping to problem solving mode (that you know I love 😉 ).All that being said, when my mind wanders to this topic: of overall life-direction, the societal pressure to ‘have things figured out’, my heart (and mind) are now filled with so much compassion. I’ve grown to become comfortable with the fact that I do not – and hopefully will not – ‘have everything figured out.’ As I’ve expanded my mindset to experience how evolutionary this life, and everyone/ thing in it is, I find that to be a naive expectation. I can make predictions all day long, but I truly don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow – and that’s the great thing about life! That’s what makes getting up every day, challenging ourselves, and sometimes failing, all worth it.
This post was inspired by a thought/memory that crosses my mind frequently; I’ve found it to be highly encouraging during seasons of uncertainty, and have wanted to share it for a while:
When I was in Napa celebrating my 21st birthday, my friend and I made friends with a couple (who had kids basically our age hah). One night, we were having dinner with them and some of their friends, and were discussing everything under the sun. One of the friends said something along the lines of: “forget trying to find your passions. What are you curious about? Follow your curiosities.” Here’s why that stuck with me: there seems to be so much pressure attached to ‘following your dreams’, and ‘leaning in to your passions’, (and every other cliche associated with being a young adult). Those things sound a lot more glamorous than they actually are, and often times, I think we equate them to doing what’s expected of us. It’s easy to confuse someone else’s hopes, that have been projected onto you, as your own. But what are you questioning about life? What keeps you up at night? What problem are you constantly itching to solve? What are you googling, and wondering about? I think that’s the pathway to your true passions.My advice of the day: listen to your curiosities, they are not random.
I hope you all have a great Thursday!