I didn’t realize at the time that my biggest problem wasn’t lack of ‘finding’ what I needed to do with my self, but the self-imposed limitations I was putting on my own mind!
I recently had the luck of running into the wonderful Jessica Dugan at Sonic Bloom in Colorado. We got off to talking about a subject that seems all too familiar when I find myself talking to people my age: passing that big milestone in your life (particularly finishing college) and having no frikin idea what to do with yourself.
Hitting an age where you realize that you can’t qualify as an adolescent under even the most generous of definitions builds anxiety for many of us. Suddenly you’re supposed to have everything figured out, only you don’t. Fortunately, a lot of us have been around long enough to communicate with other like minded souls, especially in the economic recession of our day, and know we don’t have to have everything figured out yet. Still, the angst of a clear lack of direction is too unbearable. Sometimes you wonder if you’d be better off living in a lie of ignorant bliss like the “normal” ones.
Certainly for me, the year I had after school was a tough one with lots of searching but little in answers. Like many, I listened to the advice of my parents to get a corporate job even though those months were miserable and I knew it wasn’t for me. Like many of you readers, I was enjoying an abundance of shows, concerts, festivals and more festivals and my ridiculously flawed logic at the time said: “You either have the choice of selling veggie burritos at Phish lot for the rest of your life or be an ‘adult’ and get a desk job in IT.” I didn’t realize right after I finished college that my biggest problem wasn’t lack of ‘finding’ what I needed to do with myself, but the self-imposed limitations I was putting on my own mind! This brings me to my first piece of advice on dealing with mid 20’s angst:
The World is YOUR Oyster!
You have the ability to do absolutely anything you want to do if you put your mind to it. Living with predisposed ideas of what you’re supposed to be doing and what your “options” are serve to cloud your mind of being able to see of what’s really out there and what this amazing and awesome world has to offer. Purge yourself of these limitations and you’ll find many new doors opening. Try everything you possibly can and let go of your doubts and worries.
Make sure you’re following your heart over the advice of others!
Everyone has passions and dreams, but many bury these hopes under negative energy that tells them they aren’t good enough. You’re only going to get busier as life pushes you forward and putting off what you really want to do and rationalizing it by saying you’ll have time later in life is a huge mistake.
Our world is filled with friends and people who mean the best for us. You should always take your friends and family’s advice into consideration. Sometimes you need to know when to surrender to your friends’ advice in times of trouble. But at the end of the day, the only person living your life is you. Nobody knows you better than you, so it’s time you put your foot down and stop listening to other people on how you should live your life and not let others different advice give you cognitive dissonance for following your gut and soul.
These are my friends and I love them. Sometimes I take their advice, sometimes I don’t.
Find a way you can make what you love to do your full-time job (there ALWAYS is a way)
Everyone has passions and dreams, but many bury these hopes under negative energy that tells them they aren’t good enough. You’re only going to get busier as life pushes forward and putting off what you really want to do and rationalize it by saying you’ll have time later in life is a huge mistake. What is your favorite thing to do? Whatever it is don’t stop doing it and never look back. The rewards are abundant.
While traveling for a year looking for something to click, I realized my passion was traveling itself and I found a lifestyle and way to make it all work for me (I’ll try and write an article soon about the growing subculture of traveling techies who roam around backpacking while working over the internet). In the end it all worked out for me and it will work out for you too. The transition phase of life in your mid 20s is a true rebirth and certainly has growing pains, but with great rewards when you are able to break on through, like Jim Morrison once said, to the other side. Don’t let the voices inside your own head get so loud that you miss the perfect answers right in front of you. You have what it takes and as cliche as it may sound, just follow your heart!