You’re In Your Early Twenties, Wondering, “What Are You Going Do With Your Life?”

What do you want to do?

Believe me, you don’t want to know.

This question comes up more often than not. Whether it’s from your peers that are scouting out what everyone around them is doing, or from that one distant relative during the holidays— this question will be asked as you take on your early twenties, and probably more than once.

The problem, is that neither party involved is ever really ready for the answer.

Our answers are always catered to the person asking the question, and the responses are never what we want to hear.

As we answer the question, attempting to explain and figure out the rest of our life in less than 30 seconds, we are given a response— usually ranging from a look of confusion, a look of admiration at our ability to dream big, a look of sympathy, a look of worry, or in some cases, a look of pride.

Once that’s over, we glance around the room trying to think of what to say next.

As you can imagine, these short conversations aren’t always the most fun or stimulating— and that’s no one’s fault. They usually leave us with a mild sense of disappointment, neither person leaving feeling completely fulfilled or having gotten what they wanted out of the conversation. We think, “well wait, let me tell you more, I swear I’m on the right path”— but the moment is gone, and energy is now lacking.

What’s sad, is that this conversation topic should be a favorite— ranting about goals, dreams and the different possibilities in life is one of the best things since wine and Netflix. However, it’s not always easy to discuss this subject with everyone— especially in small talk (we’re talking about our lives here, not the weather).

And that’s okay.

Because after examining these different reactions, these different responses we get from different people in our lives that legitimately care about us and our futures, I realized something. I realized that maybe no one else can ever fully understand what is going on in our brains, especially regarding our futures.

Because maybe, we can’t either.

And that’s okay too.

Maybe we do know what we want, maybe we don’t. Maybe we like talking about it, maybe we don’t. It’s all okay, it’s all normal, it’s all respectable.

This topic shouldn’t be brushed over in one question— one complicated question.

Some of us avoid the question completely, refusing to think about what lies ahead. Some of us know exactly what we want to do, and we do everything we need to do each day to get there. Some of us don’t know exactly what we want to do, and we’re okay with that, because we know it will work out.

Some of us are unsure of where we’re headed. Some of us put up a fronts that says, “I know it all,” when really we’re the most unsure. Some of us know exactly where we’re going.

All we can really know for sure, though, is that we’re in our early twenties, and we’re about to embark on the rest of our lives.

We’re scared, we’re confused, we’re excited— we’re everything all at once.

So, what do you want to do?

Pull up a chair and let’s talk about that, if you’re up for it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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