You can hate small talk at parties and weddings, because you know it almost always loops back around to So, what do you do?
You can dread family get-togethers a little bit, feeling that heavy brick in your stomach as you wait for your aunts and uncles to good-naturedly ask for a detailed update on what is going on in your life.
You can feel frustrated over the fact that it seems like every person your age knows what they’re doing and where they’re going, how they want to spend their time and where they see themselves in ten years – everyone except you, that is.
You can toss and turn until it’s three in the morning, sweating over the fact that you seem to be the only one who can’t get their life in order. The only one who can’t seem to latch onto something, the only one you can’t seem to find your thing, no matter how hard you try.
You can look at your friends zooming up the corporate ladder, the ones traveling and blogging, the ones starting families, the ones launching their own businesses – and you’re allowed to feel panic and jealousy, wishing you had even half as much of a clue as they did about what you want to do with your life.
You’re allowed to feel lost, to feel directionless, to feel like you’re swimming through jello.
You can feel weird. You can feel out of place. You can feel like you’re running around in circles instead of running forward, no matter how many different ways you try to get yourself on track.
You’re allowed to not know what you want while you’re unemployed and feverishly applying to jobs. And you’re allowed to not know what you want even while you’ve been working at a steady and seemingly good job for the last three years.
You can be in any position, at any company, in any phase of your life – and just feel like you don’t know what to do, or where to go next.
Your power comes from acknowledging it, from looking this uncertainty directly in the eye and understanding it for what it is. It is something that makes you uncomfortable, something that makes you panicky and scared, something that gives you anxiety in every situation. It’s nerve-wracking, not knowing what you want or what you’re here to do. It sucks and it’s weird and it’s frustrating.
But don’t stifle it. Don’t ignore it. Don’t pretend it’s not there. Just allow it to wash over you. Allow yourself to understand that you don’t know what you want. That you’re one of those people who is open about the fact that you don’t know where to go. Get your power and your strength from the truth of it, from the freeing feeling of being honest with yourself.
And then keep trying. Keep getting up, out of bed. Keep doing and doing and doing. Keep learning. Keep exploring. Keep asking questions. Keep looking.
You’re allowed to not know what you want. You’re just not allowed to let it paralyze you.