I’m standing in the middle of a vast, open field. Everywhere I look, in every direction, the whole 360 degrees, there’s nothing. Just nothing. The field just stretches on and on. I squint, desperately trying to spot something in the distance. A forest, a lake, a mountain, a stack of smoke, something to run towards, something to hope for. But I see nothing. I feel nothing. If I just knew which direction to go, if I could figure out which direction I truly want to go, then I might be able to make progress. I can get anything I want if I work hard enough. But what do I want? Where do I go? Gahhh!
I came up with this metaphor while leaving a voicemail for my older sister. This is how I feel when I try to think of what to do with my life. I don’t feel a pull in any direction, I don’t see any sparkling opportunities, and I have no idea what I want.
“I just want to be happy. I just want to be successful,” I said to her. And an hour or two later, she replied, “This might be terrible advice, but I think you should choose something knowing full well it might turn out to be not awesome. Forget about being successful. Just go out and fail. Yeah. Do it! Go out and fail!”
Forget about being successful? That’s crazy. That’s like saying forget about getting a good job. Forget about raking in six figures. Forget about getting a mortgage. Forget about starting a family while you’re young. Forget about all the arbitrary goals and stuff that stresses you out and just… live. Just live life. Huh. Maybe that’s not such crazy advice.