How to start when you don’t know where you’re going?
I’d like to think I am a proactive person, I try my best to take control of my life and follow my goals. However, with college coming to an end I am faced more and more often with the favourite question of my relatives (after they’re done asking why I don’t have a boyfriend yet): “So what are your plans after college?”.
I don’t have any.
To me a plan is a big end goal towards which you have reversed engineered a lot of small steps to be accomplished. Do I go get a masters? Do I start a business? Do I travel the world to find myself? Everyday I feel a restlessness pushing me to answer this questions, but unlike the kid who was lucky enough to find his life calling at age 12, I have nothing even remotely close to a plan.
Speaking of people who have their life figured out, I’ve spent many hours looking at successful people and motivational speakers; and while they did give me a lot of inspiration it also added to my restlessness. I was comparing myself mostly to idealized images of people who had way more experience and failures under their belt. It did not occur to me I was dehumanizing them, stripping them of every doubt they most probably had ever had about the path they were on, but I was also comparing myself to that standard. I was unfair, to them and to me; and I’m glad I stopped.
In my quest for inspirational quotes I also encountered this one:
“If you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there.”
Some people might interpret the meaning as I used to : If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll get nowhere. Others might see it as an incentive to not worry and leave everything to chance. The way I came to understand it is as long as you’re doing anything at all, you’ll be fine. I don’t have a plan, and that’s okay for now.
By doing something everyday, even a little something, you create momentum that can bring about completely unexpected things. The somethings I do might add up to a career or in a couple of years I might decide I want my life to go in a completely different direction. It doesn’t really matter. What matters isn’t so much the thing you do, but the very fact that you are doing something, anything, in spite of the crippling fear that it will all be in vain. Fear is what inhibits people to take action, not realising most experiences, even complete failures, are better than no experience.
So I don’t really know where I’m going but I’m already on my way. My hope is that once the ball gets rolling the big picture will become clearer. And if not, I’m sure as hell I will have a blast along the way.