I was looking through some of my old potential blog posts/journal entries when I came upon one called "All Figured Out." It's from 2016, so not terribly long ago:
I think it’s funny when people say “when I was younger I thought I had life all figured out.” Like, did you really? Or are you just saying younger people are stupid? I never thought I had things all figured out. And the young people I know proudly state that we don’t have anything figured out and that’s perfectly okay. Proud Lost Wanderers and such.
No, we won’t ever have things “all figured out.” We can’t know the secrets of the universe or the mysteries behind why that annoying person is so annoying and don’t they even know?
There are tons of books out there on how to figure out life, and I feel like they mostly fall into two categories:
- how to achieve success
- how to relax/recharge your mind
The first category is all “go for it!” and “get off your butt” and “no more excuses!” And the second category is “It’s okay to take a minute,” and “things will happen when they’re meant to,” and “give yourself a break.”
So, we’re all “Go hard until you can’t anymore and then sit down for ten minutes and tell yourself it’s okay before you get up and go go go again and you should be going harder than before because you only relax to recharge to be BETTER THAN YOU WERE, RIGHT?”
Um, can we stop with all that?
Look, it’s great to be an achiever, and learning to relax and meditate and such is all valuable too, but maybe we shouldn’t get caught in this ridiculous cycle?
Why am I trying to be an author? For fame? To be remembered? To make tons of money? I can’t sit here and say I DON’T want all of those things. Honestly, yeah, I really do. But before any of that, I was writing Crosswords for one simple reason:
Writing Crosswords makes me happy.
Mind blown, right?
And that's where I got distracted and stopped writing for some reason. Then I forgot where I was going with this, because I feel like I had more to say. But it seems like I was going toward a point of "be balanced, do what makes you happy, etc." But also, that it's... Well, it's okay to not have things all figured out. I've always believed that, but I hated it when other people said it to me, because it didn't feel genuine. It always felt like at some point, it would stop being okay.
Because when you're young, everyone pressures you all the time--better get your act together because one little failure now will screw up the rest of your life! But for some reason, that attitude is mostly focused on high school students and recent college graduates. The rest of the time, no one cares. Which sounds mean, but it's actually a huge relief. It's the freedom to embrace being lost.
Lots of people will say you'll "get lost to find your way," which is sort of true, but not in the way a lot of people think. You don't know what you'll find. Probably some cool people. Some fun stuff. You'll figure out yourself and what's really important to you. Maybe that will lead you to what makes your life meaningful. It probably won't be so straightforward as suddenly discovering your dream job and setting of on the path toward it, but that doesn't mean it won't be worth anything. There's more to life than what you do for a living--that's why it's called what you do for a living.
So, I think it's safe to say, I've felt much better in my attempts to "figure it all out" after admitting that I'll never have it all figured out.