The self-help gurus were right on this one: free-flow writing might just give you some interesting insights.
Being 22 years old is a funny thing. I feel like I’m at a crossroad, in the middle of the way somewhere. Only I don’t know where. And when I look around, I see a bunch of people in the same situation, but some do other things while they’re at the crossroad. Some get married. Some already have children. Some give up on uni. Some are starting to make some real money.
How many times are we told not to compare ourselves with others? That what we see on social media is not real? We know all of that, rationally we do. But, still, it’s easier said than done. Sometimes I just can’t stop comparing myself to that other person who seems to be treading the way confidently and surely, and wander “When will I be like that?”.
It’s scary being 22 years old and not having a clue about what you want. No plans. Looking ahead and seeing… well, not being sure of what I’m seeing. Not that I wish to have everything figured out, that’s not it. But a little clue of which way to head couldn’t hurt, right?
And here we are. Here I am. Halfway through my undergrad, looking forward to my internship in something, considering what are the opportunities I should keep an eye for. I already know I shouldn’t be looking for a Passion, with capital p, that one thing I’m meant to do in life. Instead, I just want to discover what is one of the things that have meaning to me, that would make my heart beat faster, that grabs me from within… Unfortunately, this answer doesn’t come in a fortune cookie.
What is the next step, then? Just keep going forward? I realized that, recently, one of the things I say the most is “Let’s see”. A symptom of this confusion within, it seems. Because “Let’s see” only means let’s continue and try to find out along the way. I’ve been living like that for a while now, making decisions I’m only half-sure of and then “let’s seeing” along the way.
Don’t get me wrong, things haven’t turned out terrible or miserable by doing that. But they haven’t turned out remarkable either. I have been able to get and enjoy some pretty sweet opportunities, but this “Let’s see” mindset meant that these opportunities didn’t result in something more. I didn’t grab those opportunities and worked on them until they turned into other opportunities, because… Well, let’s see where life goes.
Writing is also a funny thing, you see. What started as a confession of confusion became a self-discovery exercise. A mirror within, if you pardon this use of cliched metaphors. One thing that became clear in the process of writing these few hundred words is that I’m using my lack of direction as an excuse to half-ass the effort invested in opportunities. Talk about a slap in the face.
Regardless of your age or the source of your confusion, if you want to feel slightly mad and ashamed at yourself, as well as empowered and with a clearer vision on what’s going on in your mind, I recommend doing what I just did. You were a witness, a first-hand witness, of how just venting out can really give you some perspective. It just gave me some.
So, it doesn’t matter if you like writing, drawing, meditating, going for a walk… reserve ten minutes today to introspect and reflect on those knots in your mind and chest. It might be just what you need to understand the crossroad.
Have you ever tried some free-flow writing as an exercise? Or are you just feeling as lost as me and want to share some fears? Let me know in the comments!