It’s been a strange and frustrating time. I confess, in a moment of utter discouragement and anxious uncertainty, I literally typed “Where do I go in life?” into the search box, offering up my every question of life-purpose and direction to the gods of Google.
There’s been talk lately about frustration with jobs and peoples’ souls being eaten by stagnancy and dying passion. And while I resonate with this to a lesser degree, the restlessness is indeed unsettling; but I keep remembering the look on his face when he said, “Why would anyone, EVER, make themselves so vulnerable to their job that they let it eat their soul???”
I thought that was brilliant, and also difficult to reconcile for a person like me.
All my personal anxiety in this regard came to a peak on Monday. Bubbling over with frustration, I reached a new readiness for change that exceeded anything I’ve felt in the last 2 years. I woke this morning with the weight of it all pressing my chest and head into my pillow, suggesting I shouldn’t even bother getting out of bed. But I did, and decided the only thing to do was break out the strong coffee, paper bag, and a sharpie. This Paper Bag Therapy, as I have named it, is one of the most cathartic things I’ve ever done for myself. Lying on my stomach, I uncap the marker and have at it; the Sharpie didn’t have the slightest clue what was coming.
Furiously writing every scattered thought, question, idea, conundrum, obstacle and need, I categorically spelled out everything I know and do not know about what I want in life, at this point in time. It’s worth mentioning that the header reads: “PAPER BAG THERAPY, Session #2, 3 march 2010, Age 24. >>HANG ONTO THIS, I'M SURE YOU'LL GET A KICK OUT OF IT WHEN YOU'RE 50.”
So although I’m knee-deep in the murky ambition of a twenty-something, I can still appreciate the fact that this is a stage, a necessary stage of searching and exploring, and when I’m much older with much more perspective, I’ll laugh at the adorable innocence of all my current anxiety.
I was however able to identify some things I most definitely do NOT want as I move forward in life (ehem.. marketing/sales positions). Beyond that, the list of potential career interests was somewhat vague- lacking practical knowledge of professional applications or the steps to even ‘get there.’
But despite the lack of resolute clarity, I feel a bit better. I feel honest about where I’m at, mostly joyful while searching, and certain that life can still go on colorfully in the face of aimlessness and uncertainty, if you decide so.