For Those of Us That Don’t Know What We’re Doing In Life


January 27, 2024

The 20’s are chaotic. Some people are getting married, some already have kids, and others are single and focusing on themselves. Some already found their dream job, and others are struggling to find work. Over the last few years I’ve noticed when I catch up with friends that they also just have no clue what’s going on in life. And the motto “it is what it is,” has quickly become a common phrase. The best part about life is the mystery though.

If you knew exactly what was going to happen to you every day for the rest of your life, it would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it? No spontaneous drinks with friends, no surprise and delights, no ability to sit and ponder and really question things, and no faith.

Faith in whatever journey you’re on is meant for you and that the things meant for you will somehow find their way to you. It’s magical and funny isn’t it – the way that some of our best friends happen upon us, the way we find our purpose in life or our life partner. I met one of my best friends as a random roommate – and we went to a house party to hang out for the first time and she started marching around the kitchen banging her hand on a pan, singing a song. As soon as she did that I knew we would be in each other’s life for a very, very long time. 5 years later, I messaged her mom and coordinated a surprise trip all the way to Belgium and she had no idea I was coming. And I’ll always remember that – that surprise and delight.

I turn 27 in a day and a few hours, and my knee jerk reaction is to always think “ugh, I’m getting older.” But over the last couple of years I’ve realized how lucky that is. Some people never get to see their 27th birthday, because that’s just how life works sometimes. You never know what’s coming – and as morbid as it may seem, it’s important to think about to force things back into perspective. For it is within this realization that we can really start to realize the magic that life is.

What a major blessing to be able to have more time. More time with your aging parents, more time with your best friends, more time to try new things, more time to become the person you’d always imagined, and more time figuring out what you want your life to look like and more importantly feel like.

All you can do as you age, is try to learn to love life at every stage.

Of course, there are so many things that we have to do.

But there are also so many things that we get to do.

We get to try, new hobbies, new passions, new interests, new restaurants, and new events.

We get to fall in love.

We get to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow.

We get to learn about ourselves and figure out what resonates most with us.

We get to figure out what we’re passionate about – and those things are not for random reasons.

We get to build connections – whether platonic, familial, friendly, or romantic, and demonstrate what the true definition of humanity looks like.

In high school, I remember thinking that my life would only matter if I made massive waves and literally changed the world. And now I know that that’s just ridiculous. Placing value on a human life based on productivity, career choices, and size of impact simply misses the point.

Your life matters, because you exist.

Does a dog’s life not matter because it’s not changing the world and being “productive”? Absolutely not (and also probably a terrible analogy, but I’m sorry it’s the only one I can think of while I write this).

I firmly believe that as long as you’re being a good person, open minded and open to growth & change, and trying your best you’re really on the best path you could ask for.

Talk to your elders and you’ll realize we’re all just kind of figuring it out at the same time. Nobody has done life all the way through before and is still alive! Even though it can seem like your parents have everything figured out, remember that they’re going through life for the first time, too.

Give yourself (and others!) a little grace and if you aren’t sure what that looks like, it might start with changing your perspective. Remember yourself in your purest form – as a child. A curious being, asking “why and how” all the time. An innocent soul that saw the good in the world and wasn’t hardened by hardship, but remained soft. Someone that was open to what others had to say and truly listened to what others were trying to teach them.

I changed my phone background to a photo of my sister and me as kids and it brings me back to that pure joy and curiosity. Seeing myself as a child every day also reminds me to be kinder to myself – how would you talk to that child? And then remember that it’s yourself. How would you talk to yourself if you were speaking to yourself as a kid?

It’s so easy to get hardened by whatever life throws at you. But when you feel uncertain in life, remain soft.

Ask for help when you need it.

Give to others with no expectation.

Listen, and really listen to others.

Forgive others.

Forgive yourself.

Find joy in the little things.

Find joy in the big things.

Sit in the sad things.

Fight through the hard things.

And so if you just aren’t quite sure if you’re where you’re supposed to be, ask yourself if you’re showing up. Starting the day with a grateful heart and mind, letting love in and not holding anything back, choosing to fight for what lights your fire whether it’s a passion or hobby or connection, showing people that you truly care and making sure they know it, and doing what is right and just. Remember that you cannot change and improve if you do not go through some form of challenge.

And then when you’re challenged, remain open:

Smile at strangers.

Say hello to the homeless person you pass by on a walk.

Call a friend out of the blue just to catch up.

Tell someone how much they mean to you.

Tell them you love them.

Tell them you’re proud of them.

Have the strength to let go of what no longer serves you.

Have the strength to fight for what does.

Help a stranger in distress.

Do what’s right even when it sucks or it’s hard.

Try new things even when you’re scared.

Laugh at yourself and don’t take things too seriously or personally.

Be open to feedback.

Be honest with others.

Be honest with yourself.

Be ready to make mistakes and learn from them.

Date yourself.

Take yourself to dinner.

Take yourself to the movies.

And really learn to sit with yourself and genuinely like that company.

That’s how I think you do life right.

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