This is not one of those ‘I just turned 30 so I’ve suddenly become reflective’ posts, but it’s really about a thought that has been tossing in my mind for a while. I know one of the most important things in life is to have a plan, to have vision, to chart a path for yourself and walk it strategically and confidently but, do you ever feel rudderless?
I’m not saying that I’m drifting at the moment, quite the contrary. I love work, I get to make a difference every day (at least I try to…but with kids, you never really know for sure) and that matters most to me. I’ve been lucky, people have been good to me, opportunities continue to come my way, without my having to go after them, and I embrace them. The results are mostly good. Good for me. Good for other people. And everything seems as if it is as it should be.
But before I get complacent in that feeling, I’m suddenly rudderless again. Second guessing myself again, wondering ‘now what?’ The self-doubt comes in waves and when they do, they are all consuming. It lasts for a few days then the ebb and flow recedes, there’s light again…then…sunshine…and then maybe a week or two later…perhaps a month…the drizzle begins, turns into a steady shower…and then more waves.
I feel like by now, I should have this ‘life’ thing sorted out. There shouldn’t be so much second guessing. But I find that I am constantly comparing, constantly thinking, exploring options, looking for opportunities to try new things and what makes it so much more complicated is that there a million things to consider, if you’re really looking. I wonder if it’s the curse of our generation to have so many options. We are paralyzed by choice and the wide array of possibilities make everything so confusing.
So I take time to ask myself regularly, am I happy? And the answer has always been yes. I chose to teach and I would choose it all over again. The answer leaves me wondering…what then, where is this perceived lack of ‘_______’ (I couldn’t find a word for it) coming from?
I guess that’s when it sort of struck me, I think that we usually equate being happy with being fulfilled. But they’re not the same at all. Happiness comes while one is pursuing personal dreams. A deep sense of fulfillment will emerge when you finally connect the person you are with the things that you choose to do. Does that make sense?
To borrow from Dickens, these bouts of questioning and scrutiny feel like ‘the best of times and the worst of times’. I feel caught between waves of realism and idealism, risk and security, adventure and roots. Despite these surges, I’m told by my confidants that the moment of clarity will come. It always does. I just have to take a great leap of faith and trust that it will. And that I will be in good company, because endless number of people have taken that leap, too. And I guess that’s what will eventually happen. Because things do fall into place somehow, my life is testament to that. But for now I really need to learn how to swim, or at least how tokeep my head above water, because when the waves keep coming, sink or swim is not an option for me. I want to ride the waves. Fearlessly.