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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6 Responses to “Not all those who wander are lost.”

  1. Steve K. says:

    I love quotes. I like to read them and marvel at how aptly some of them express my innermost thoughts. Or at how some are able to reflect a feeling that I cannot express in words. Here is a laundry list of some that are kind of relevant to this post (or perhaps that I just like). Maybe you’ll find one that wakes something within you =)

    “Life is like an ice-cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time.”
    — Charles M. Schulz, as “Charlie Brown”, Peanuts cartoon strip

    “Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in reaching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your
    destiny.”
    — Carl Schurz

    “He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.”
    — Bessie Stanley

    “Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful; yourself.”
    — Alan Alda

    “If you do not feel yourself growing in your work and your life broadening and deepening, if your task is not a perpetual tonic to you, you have not found your place.”
    — Orison Swett Marden

    People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be – whether they will admit that or not.
    — Earl Nightingale

    No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.
    — William Blake

    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
    George Bernard Shaw

    I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.
    — Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Be humble, for the worst thing in the world is of the same stuff as you; be confident, for the stars are of the same stuff as you.
    — Nicholai Velimirovic

    If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.
    Laurence J. Peter

    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
    George Bernard Shaw

    “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. to live is to be slowly born.
    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
    – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    The journey creates us. We are the frontiers we cross.
    –salman rushdie

    “Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk”
    – anon

    I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
    Douglas Adams

    Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
    –Max Ehrmann

    Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself…
    – Henry Miller

    You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.
    – Michael Pritchard

    I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.
    – Rita Mae Brown

    For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves we find in the sea –ee cummings

  2. aRj says:

    Hello Julienne,

    I forget exactly how i stumbled upon your blog, but i have to say that this entry in particular really resonated with me and where i am in my life.

    thanks for writing this. 🙂

    • Julienne says:

      Hey aRj,

      Oh you’re welcome. I’m glad it spoke to you and I can only surmise that you’re going through your own quarter life crisis. I hope you are doing good and finding your way 🙂 I checked out your blog, definitely write more! 😀

      -Julienne

  3. aRj says:

    i just finished reading a great book that talks about how to write a good story and how to live a ‘story-worthy’ life.

    here is a portion from the opening chapter:
    “If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn’t remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.

    But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to be meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either”
    ― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

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