At the age of 22, I already know what I want to do with my life. But some of my peers are still clueless about what they should be doing, which is perfectly alright because today, we have a whole world of opportunities just waiting to be seized. But the problem with too many opportunities is that it can confuse us simply because there’s too much waiting to be explored. How are we even supposed to pick one out of tens of thousands of things out there?
I used to be worried about what I would do with my writing skills a few years ago. But every day, I realize, there is a new opportunity to make something out of myself, while also staying true to my passion. I refuse to spend years working a desk job simply because it’s the more practical option because that would only be unfair to myself. I’m sure that a lot of you can relate because even after graduating, a lot of my friends are unsure of the path they want to take.
Somewhere in the middle of high school, I realized that I didn’t want to be a conventional brown child who does the same old thing that everybody else does. Somewhere in the middle of my teachers telling me that I would never amount to anything, I decided to go ahead and do exactly what they said would be my downfall. I was going through kind of a rebellious phase back then, so I didn’t really mind what they had to say about it. But along the way, I rediscovered my passion for writing and I have never looked back since.
It’s really simple. All I had to do was ask myself a few hard-hitting questions that made me contemplate the next 15 years of my life and it all boiled down to one simple answer- art. Specifically, writing. The late teens and early 20s are all about second chances, testing the waters and figuring out go to find your feet in this world. Some have it early, some don’t figure it out until they’re pushing their mid-20s. And all of it is okay!
I keep stressing on the fact that we are all capable of great things, just not at the same time because everyone is given different question papers here. You cannot do the same thing that your friend does and expect things to work out the same way they did for them. That is not how this works. So the best shot we have is to ask ourselves a few questions that will give us, at the very least, an idea about what to do in our lives.
1. What was your favourite thing to do growing up?
To me, that was lying on the bed with my feet propped up against the wall, with my amok doing the same, and telling her all kinds of made-up stories about the things that I had “seen” outside that day. Apparently, she found it hilarious because she got me a book full of story prompts, which I went through in a matter of days.
Our childhoods play a very important role in shaping our lives. This was one of the first things I learned in my Psychology lectures. What we want to do in life almost always stems from a place deep within, which happens to be the one thing that brings us peace.
2. What would you always find your way back to?
Some things just cannot be shaken off, no matter how hard we try to. Throughout my life, writing has been the thing that I would always somehow find my way back to. One way or another, I would find myself writing. Sometimes it was really amateur poetry, other times, it would be little songs or entries in my diary.
I was heartbroken when I was initially told that it wouldn’t be practical to write for a living. But no matter how much I tried to move on and learn something new, I would always go back to writing. I think some part of us already knows what we want to do. We just need to do some actual soul-searching to get there.
3. What is your go-to ice-breaker?
The way we talk to people, the way we choose to initiate a conversation with them can say a lot about us. For as long as I can remember, my go-to has always been ‘Do you read a lot?’ or ‘Tell me about your favourite books.’ Whether it was with my best friends or with my boyfriend, I remember discussing books in our very first conversation.
I have always loved reading because it has had me wishing that I had that kind of power offer somebody’s senses and mind. The more I read, the better I am at writing because I know the dos and don’ts. The way you interact can say a lot about what your true passion is.
People asked me what I would do even if it didn’t get me any money, and I found that question very problematic. It is so disrespectful to assume that just because we’re passionate about something, we should be doing it for free. No. That is not how you get people to decide what they truly want.
Craving fame, money or success isn’t wrong as long as you don’t harm anybody. So if you feel like your work deserves more attention, then you’re absolutely right because it does. Don’t let anything stop you from putting it out there. And if you’re still wondering about what you should do, here’s a bonus question: What do I never get tired of?
You don’t have to answer right away because good things take time. But don’t beat yourself up over not having things figured out either.
You’re doing great!
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