When I was a kid, I always dreamt of becoming an adult.
I mean- who didn’t?
At the time, I thought being an adult would mean I’d have the answers to all the difficult questions that plagued my head at the time.
I thought being an adult would mean being waa-ay smarter than I was back then.
But now that am here, I am not sure I meet my former self’s expectations. Okay, maybe I meet the being way smarter part – or at least I think I do. But being all-knowing? I’m not even close.
I have a great number of questions swirling in my head begging for answers. Questions you’d think I’d have answers to by now. But I don’t.
All I get as a result of thinking about them is either nothing or a million different potential answers.
So the best way I thought I’d deal with them is to write them down.
Here are the seven biggest ones. Perhaps my cursor friend right here will trigger some answers. Or even better, maybe you the reader will give me some insights.
1. Should I really follow my passions?
“Your passion may be the very thing holding you back from power or influence or accomplishment. Because just as often, we fail with -- no, because of -- passion. … [P]urpose deemphasizes the I. Purpose is about pursuing something outside yourself as opposed to pleasuring yourself.” Ryan Holiday, author of Ego Is the Enemy
So apparently, we are not meant to follow our passion(s) - blindly.
What we are meant to follow is purpose. And I get the point of it being about more than just me, me and me. Purpose is about seeking something larger than yourself.
But here’s the thing. What if your passion- might I say- is your purpose in life? What if your passion is what wakes you up in the morning? Isn’t that purpose enough?
Passion, purpose; purpose, passion - it could just be a matter of semantics. Or not.
Personally, I have many passions. But the purpose I was put on this earth for, ties them all together in one happy bunch.
So should I really follow all of them or should I be happy to follow just some of them and be content that a piece of my purpose is being fulfilled?
And will I be happy fulfilling just a piece of that purpose?
2. Were all the experiences in my twenties worth it?
“Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life's most defining moments take place by about age 35.” Meg Jay, The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
From riding in the higher education carousel, to making some amazing lifelong friends, to falling madly in love, to travelling all over the world, to trying my hand at leadership, to joining the rat race, to testing the pleasures and pains of real responsibility – my twenties were nothing short of rollercoaster-ish.
I mean, everything I went through was “high drama”. And I’m not exaggerating.
But was it all worth it? Was every single thing that I went through necessary for the person that I am today?
Not that I regret any of it. I don’t. I would be crazy to do so.
Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have been in some relationship(s). And I shouldn’t have made some seemingly small but life-changing decisions. And I shouldn’t have made certain fashion choices. But I don’t call that regret. I call it hindsight.
The main question here is - was it all worth it?
3. Am I evolving for the better?
“I want to grow. I want to be better. You Grow. We all grow. We're made to grow. You either evolve or you disappear.” Tupac Shakur
The question always is: I’m I evolving to become a better person or I’m I on the fast track towards a worse version of myself?
All the books, the blogs, the videos, the podcasts, the mentors – are they really adding to the person I want to become?
It feels like I’m always trying to be better. Always working on this or that. And that could mean that I'm hardly improving. Or maybe it just means that I'm human?
Tupac said it. Evolve or disappear. It seems that I’m somehow evolving. But I’m I really?
4. Am I making the right career choices?
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!
Live the life you’ve imagined.” Henry David Thoreau
Despite the fact that I am pretty much unemployable, I’m I really on the right trajectory of my career?
Going back to school for a totally different course than what I did before means I’m pivoting. But I’m I headed towards the right direction?
And what really is the “right” direction?
Looking back, I’ve jumped from job to job, from country to country and from office to remote working. All of which may have an interesting look and feel on my CV. But does it reflect an enriched career path - or a confused one?
Wait- do I really need to have one particular career path? Can’t I have multiple? And if I do manage to have multiple, will I be able to handle them all?
5. How does success look like?
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” George Sheehan
The word “success” is rather ambiguous.
Every one of us usually forms their own little meaning of the word and runs with it. We all form our own little world of what “success” looks like.
It could mean having a nice job. Having a lovely home. Having a stylish car. Having a lovely family.
To other people it could mean just some of that.
But what do I think? What exactly is my idea of that bloated word?
And even if I thought I knew what success looked like to me, would it be the right kind of success for me? Would it be the kind of success that I am meant to pursue?
“Meant to pursue” here assuming that there’s a predetermined picture of success for everybody. But could that even be? Could it be that my predetermined picture of success is just sitting somewhere waiting for me to find it?
Or it is that a semi-blank picture is waiting for me to find it so that I can paint it as I go along?
6. Does “the one” really exist?
"There is no such thing as a soulmate…and who would want there to be? I don’t want half of a shared soul. I want my own damn soul." Rachel Cohn
I blame Hollywood.
I blame Hollywood for making “the one” a thing.
In a world of 7.5 billion people, you mean to tell me that only one person can gift me with a happily-ever-after? Not 10, 20 or even 100 possible people? Just ONE?!
And how generous must destiny have to be to allow me to find that one person amongst all the “chaff”?
Why would that same destiny allow me to waste so much time with the “chaff” anyway? Isn’t that a bit ahem wasteful? Or perhaps we are meant to learn from all the bad ones so that when we get the good one, we’ll appreciate it? Bleh!
But really – is there just ONE of that good one that we have to wait for?
Can’t there be, as I said, 10, 20 or even 100 possibilities to work with? If I don’t find Number 1 probably I could end up with Number 24.
I think it’s more practical that way.
But then again, why do some people seem so perfect for each other? As if they were totally made for each other?
And what if I found this person already and let them go? Am I destined for a life of settling for second-best in that case?
7. Am I doing enough as a human being, daughter, sister, friend etc.?
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” Shannon L. Alder
Each time I think about the kind of legacy I want to leave, I begin to wonder whether I am doing enough as a human being, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, employee, student, citizen and all that.
It’s as if there’s a measuring stick and I am constantly striving to stay above “sea level”.
That kind word I could have said, that good deed I could have done, that compliment I could have given, that meet-up I could have planned, that extra I could have done – I could have done better. I could have been better.
I can do better. I can be better.
But, how much better?
And how do I know when I’m that much better?