I love this quote by JRR Tolkein. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. It’s appropriate to what I’ve been going through, called The Quarter Life Crisis. A friend of mine defines the “Quarter Life” as when you’re twenty something and too young to be old and too old to be young. To me the crisis stems from not knowing what you want to do, where you want to go and that pressure to figure it out. It’s crazy. People in my generation are always encouraged to follow our hearts, be ourselves and do what we want and makes us happy. But what if I have absolutely no clue what that is?
The question then becomes – “what do you want to be, now that you’ve grown up?”
I’ve always envied the people who have clear identifiable talents. Not to say that we all aren’t talented in some way..but I mean those who can sing, paint, draw, dance, etc. It’s natural for them to want to become what they’re good at – singers, artists, dancers, etc. While not everyone ends up in performing arts, I figure this at least points them in a general direction of what they could pursue in life. At least they know what makes them happy. If one has no such artistic talents so where does that leave you? In my case, modesty aside, I know I’m smart. I know there’s tons of things that I could do and pursue and I know that I could do good with anything I tried. However the questions remain – Is that what I want to be doing? Am I passionate about it? Does it make me happy?
Henry Kissinger once said “The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.” Generations before us didn’t have that many alternatives – they graduated, found jobs that paid decent, spouses, settled down and started families all in their mid-20’s. It was practical and fairly straightforward back then. No internet, cellphones, Facebook, international travel, etc. They did all of that to pave way for what some are calling the Generation of Entitlement. I think that might be us/me. We’re impatient. We have all these opportunities laid out for us. We want it all and we want it now. Speaking of, I’ve come to realize opportunities are double-edged swords. While one should be grateful for every possibility, too many of them can clutter and overwhelm the mind. That’s how I feel..overwhelmed, scared and excited by all the options. The world today makes me feel like I could become anyone.. a pilot, a chef, a model, an entrepreneur, a world traveler, a photographer, an FBI agent, an accountant, a banker, a doctor, a food critic, a lawyer…like I said, anything. Like I said, it’s scary and exciting.
If you came out of the womb knowing what to do and who you wanted to become in life, good for you. I’m in the 99.99999% of the population that doesn’t know and is trying to figure it out. I’m beginning to realize that it is a process that evolves gradually from time, experience and tons of patience. Delayed gratification and sacrifice is key. If I can’t figure out what I want, then I’m gonna determine what I don’t want in a ‘process of elimination’ of sorts. I think I’m going to have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to a prince and I’m not just talking about my love life.
That, in short, is why I’ve started to blog again. I want to chronicle and share my journey of all things significant and mundane. Join me as I explore, wander, share, and discover life… and ultimately, myself. 🙂
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