I have no idea what I’m doing — morning meditation

Behold, my house in the suburbs

What is a morning meditation? To help me build a habit of daily writing, I’m publishing a few thoughts here every morning about ideas that interest and inspire me, mostly drawn from ordinary life. I hope you enjoy them.

I used to think a time would come when I had things all figured out. In my early twenties, I clearly remember viewing colleagues in their thirties with a a sense of awe — they had stable careers, strong marriages, houses with yards and clothes that weren’t from H&M (sometimes). They seemed so solid, so together, so… grown up (side note: this was right before the Great Recession, before many of them starting losing their stable jobs and getting divorced and selling the houses they could no longer afford). I said that to my then-35-year-old colleague once and was very confused when he greeted me with maniacal laughter.

Now, for all intents and purposes, I’m one of those people. I’m 33 years old. I have a house in the suburbs, a crossover SUV, a fancy job title, and absolutely no idea what I’m doing. If anything, I feel less certain about my life than I did 10 years ago, mostly because I see the world in far more shades of gray.

I say this to my younger colleagues all the time, and I can tell they don’t quite believe me. I don’t blame them; I wouldn’t have believed me, either, because anyone with a mortgage and a couch that isn’t from IKEA surely has her life together. Now I’m the one laughing maniacally.

It was both glorious and terrifying to realize there are no answers, no moment when all the stars will align and my life will suddenly make sense. It will never make sense. Things come together, things fall apart, things come back together again. No one has any idea what they’re doing, least of all me.

And that’s really awesome, actually. Knowing this, we’re free to define success for ourselves rather than live life according to someone else’s terms. That, in my opinion, is the best part about being grown up.

We’re all just figuring things out as we go. We might as well enjoy ourselves.