“My life feels like a good book that’s come to an end… with the worst cliff hanger, leaving the reader begging for a sequel ….but how to continue? I feel the pull of life in an array of directions, which way to go I’m entirely unsure of.”
This was an excerpt from an email I received from a friend several months back. It was gut wrenching to read this but the worst part is that it is not someone of more mature years – or even someone having a mid life wobble. It was written by a young and smart 22 year old woman who was looking for direction and guidance.
I have thought a lot about this email since then.
I have drafted a reply to my friend many times in my head and essentially here is what I want to say. Be warned that some of it sounds cliché but I can’t find better ways to express it…
“I completely understand where you are coming from. So many times in my life I have felt confused about what I want to do with my life or which direction to take. At these times, I have had to remind myself that life is a journey not end point. If you take one path and it doesn’t work out – it is okay to change course. Next to no decision is irreversible. Nothing you do in your life is a failure – it is just an experience.
I have also had to remind myself that it is also ok to not always to have a big fully baked plan ahead of me. Trying to force myself into a particular direction is not helpful. If you have no idea of what you want to do in your future, you can’t force it. It reminds me of a line from one of John Lennon’s song. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Particularly if the plans are for plans sake!
So I go back to life not being about a destination. It is what is happening to you every moment of everyday and being happy and living in a way that is consistent with your values. When I am happy and relaxed my perspective and energy shifts. I am able to see much clearer what I want to do, when and how.
So my friend. Life is not something in your future pulling you in multiple directions. Life is now. Relax, breathe, eat well and find simple things in your life that make you happy. When you are in a calm and positive frame of mind, you will find your direction will start to become clearer.”
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