I don’t know what I’m doing next, and that scares me. For a long time, I had my life planned out. I knew what was going to happen and where I was going to be. Now, none of that applies. It’s scary. There are so many options. I don’t know what scares me more – the abundance of options or the complete and utter lack of control.
If I’m being honest with myself, my biggest issue is with the absence of control. My perfectionism stems from a need to have control. But the reality is that I don’t know what is yet to come. I can’t tell you what will happen next or where I will be in five years. I can’t even tell you where I will be in the next five minutes. I can give you an idea or a well educated guess, but none of that is for certain. Nothing about the future is.
I base my life off of the what ifs. Not only does that hinder what I do today, it keeps me from moving forward in the grand scheme of things. I am terrified of the future. I will admit that. My past informs and still affects my present. I am not proud of some of the things I have done, but I am learning to own them. When I worry, I always leave out the most important figure in my equations. God. God is the one who has control, not me. That thought is both comforting and terrifying.
I do not know what I am doing. I have ideas, things I think I would like to do. And if you ask me, I will gladly tell you about them. But do I know what I am doing? Nope. Not even close. I’m just stumbling around, trying to figure things out.
The world is a terrifying place. I figured my life would be cut and dry. I’d get married, have kids, and then stay at home and run the house. That was the plan, and there was nothing wrong with it. But that isn’t what happened. And if you look back farther, I had different ambitions. I was going to be a famous piano player and travel the world. That was my goal in life at the age of 5. That isn’t what happened either.
What actually happened was much different that what I dreamed up as a child and then teenager. I went through high school for four years then graduated. I went through college for four years and then graduated. In that time, I loved and lost, experienced a natural disaster, traveled all over the world, was manipulated and abused, made friends with amazing people, had the privilege to learn from great teachers and professors, saw and experienced God work miracles, and went through many therapists.
I never expected some of the things that happened in my life, but all of it has had a hand in who I am today, why I am. It doesn’t define me however. Rather, it informs me. Whether that is wrong or right, good or bad, that is how it is.
A journey does not make who you are
It can take you to places afar
Whether at home or away
Only you can choose if you stay
Or if you jump in that car
Like a pounding drum
Water falls from the grey sky
Bringing hope and joy
I have never been much of a patient person. I do not like to wait, which is probably why I am having such a hard time with being in a state of waiting, in limbo. I like to be active, doing things. I tend to forget that I can still be active while I wait. I don’t have to sit around for hours on end, stare off into space, and twiddle my thumbs while I wait for the next step.
I don’t have to have life planned out right now even though it feels like I have to. I can still get involved in the community even though I don’t have a set plan for the next few years. My life doesn’t have to be perfect. It can’t be perfect. There is no magic formula to create your future and the rest of your life. It doesn’t work that way, but sometimes it feels like it.
Although it feels like I’m not doing much, I am doing things. I am being active.
- I am unwinding from the insanity that was all those years of public school and the intensity that was my four years at a private Christian university.
- I am taking time to get to know myself and see how I function in the workplace.
- I have a job.
- I am involved in community theater.
- I am writing a book.
- I am slowly building new friendships.
- I am seeing a therapist that I finally think I can stick with (She is number 9 or 10).
- I am digging through the gunk and sludge, smoothing out the sharp rocks, and clearing out those places in my mind I locked away.
I may not be sure of what is going to happen next, but I am making progress. And that is a pretty good start.