When I was a preteen, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I went through several different scenarios in my head of possible career choices. We all do. At least I tell myself that we all do, and if you don’t, GOOD FOR YOU.
I thought about what it would be like to be a marine biologist, and I considered whether or not I should follow in my grandmother’s footsteps and become a nurse. I thought — for a brief moment until I remembered how much I dislike children — that maybe I could become a teacher. And I even considered the possibility of being Indianapolis’ newest nightly news anchor.
I somehow, by the grace of our lord and savior Britney Spears, made it to college and by the time I was a senior in college I was on my way to earning a degree in Communication. By the time graduation was approaching, I wasn’t even sure I liked what I was doing anymore, but it was too late to do anything about it so I graduated and prepared for an internship that sounded about as fun as trying to talk to a dentist while their hands are in your mouth.
I made it through that internship and eventually found a job. THE END.
Except it wasn’t the end. Because, to the shock of no one if you’ve ever read my blog or talked to me for longer than five minutes, I ended up hating my job and quit before the year ended.
I thought I had found what I wanted to do with my life. And maybe I had, maybe I know. For now.
But lately people have asked me where I see myself in the next five years. And I no longer have an answer for them.
Sometimes I look around me, and it seems as if everyone knows what they want to do. They have some sort of end goal…whether that’s becoming a News Editor, owning their own business, starting a family, writing a screenplay, or writing their own book.
But I don’t have an end goal. I don’t even have a starting goal. I’m back where I was ~10 years ago, and it’s freaking me out.
I want to think about my future, I want to make plans, I want to make my dreams come true. But the problem is that I don’t even know what my dreams are right now.
It seems like for my entire life I have had some sort of end goal. I wanted to go to college, so I went to college. I wanted to become an account manager for the student-run public relations firm, so I did that. And I wanted to write for BuzzFeed, so I did everything in my power to make sure I could do that. But now that I’ve accomplished it, I don’t know where to go from here.
For the first time in a long time, I don’t know what I want to do. I have a job that I like, I live in a city that I like, and yet I feel more lost than ever before.
There’s always the advice to follow your dreams and do what you want to do. But what if you DON’T KNOW what you want to do? Huh Pinterest??? What then???
I think that in this life, we all have some sort of calling. Some of us discover it early on, some of us discover it by accident, some of us discover it only when others point it out, and some of us… well some of us are still trying to discover it. It’s easy to get bogged down in the direction set upon our lives by others. There’s what our parents think we should do, what our friends think we should do, what society thinks we should do… and then what we think we should do, which almost always comes last.
While attempting to find my calling, I find myself repeatedly remembering an episode of “The Hills.” Stay with me here.
In this particular episode, Lauren Conrad is confused about what to do with her life. I FEEL YOU, LC, I FEEL YOU.
Whilst talking to her boss about these concerns, her boss mentions that being in her current position of feeling lost was actually a good thing. SAY WHAT? I know, right? She then throws out a french term which may or may not be accurate because let’s be real this show was on MTV. “Je voudrais flâner” she said… which means to walk around aimlessly without a plan.
It’s a beautiful thing, in many ways, not having a plan. It gives you the ability to explore so many different options until you find something that really makes you come alive. I think we should all “je voudrais flâner” at different points in our lives. We should all re-evaluate our hopes and dreams every couple of years and make sure we’re still doing things that make us come alive.
I hate feeling lost and I hate not being able to answer the question about where I want to be five years down the line. But I’d hate pursuing something I hate more. The thing about following your dreams is that your dreams should always change.
So maybe this time instead of trying to follow my dreams, I’ll just wander aimlessly until I create new ones.
Take time to wander aimlessly and create your dreams, too.
Because as soon as your create them, you can chase them.