When I was a teenager, I had two thoughts. How am I going to hide this pimple on my face? and How am I going to hide myself?
Now that I am an adult, I also have two thoughts. What the hell am I going to do with my life? and I don’t have a life to do anything with.
You see, that first thought governs much that I do. Well, plagues me, really. I struggle against it frequently when I am trying to blog because I have an open forum to voice my opinion. If you look at past posts, you will find that I do not often win the battle. I do not often tell myself to put my own life journey aside, so I can write something pithy and engaging for a blogging public. But by most accounts, I am completely consumed with deciding on my passion, my calling, AKA what to do with the rest of my life. When I’m not writing this blog, I’m researching, calculating, and planning the next 50 years.
But it’s strange because I started out this blog post by telling you how I felt as a teenager and as an adult, but in reality, I still feel like a child. I see someone working construction, and I suddenly feel the need to put on a hard hat. I watch someone treat a patient, and I am convinced that I should be healing the sick. And yes, an astronaut may have been out of my reach as an actual kid, but I suddenly feel like the stars have never been closer than right now. So, am I ambitious or indecisive?
I don’t know. But the only thing I can say for certain is that I wish I had something different to say. I wish I had my life planned out. I wish I could say that I have the courage to pursue whatever I am “meant” to do. I wish I wasn’t worried about making the right decisions. And truly, I wish I had something different to say about my future.
The only thing, and I mean the only thing, that stops me from having meltdowns daily about all this is one simple quote whose origin is heavily debated. But let’s just say Abe Lincoln said it because, you know, it’s a good quote and he’s a good guy, so he deserves it.
“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
I feel like a cork on a champagne bottle when I read that quote. It doesn’t matter what I am. It doesn’t matter if I’m selling out. It doesn’t matter if I don’t pursue my passion. It doesn’t matter if I never “make it.” I just have to be good at what I do, whatever it is. Hopefully, it isn’t axe murdering, but you get it. I just have to give 100% to whatever it is that I am doing. And I am about 95% sure I can do just that. (Did I say I was indecisive?)
And that’s all you can hope for, too. You should give yourself a little wiggle room to be good. But you should never stop striving for it.