Here I sit, 25 years young, and on my third corporate job in 3 years… My wonderful, compassionate, intelligent, handsome (and so on…) beau is just 2 months shy of embarking on his great humanitarian-esque journey of becoming a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. The dude has worked his tail end off for years now, scraping by in entry-level ER positions in some of America’s most dangerous and drug-ridden cities. To say he deserves it more than anyone I know would be an understatement. Quite honestly, over-the-moon doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of my feelings as he starts this next chapter of his life.
Of course, there comes the classic “but”. Maybe even the semi-selfish “but” in this case… because despite my feelings of true euphoria for my S.O. as he pursues what I and so many others understand as his true calling, I am at yet another crossroads in my life.
A current resident of Columbus, OH with a stable job and a gorgeous apartment in one of the older, more upscale parts of town, I find myself unhappy and unsettled, again. For so long I’ve been chipping away at some of life’s “most defining questions”, like: What will I be when I grow up? And not just what, but who? And, on top of it all, how can I figure out both of these things ASAP?!
To shoot you straight, I’ve never really been one to “Keep Up with the Jones’s” and I’ve always considered myself somewhat of a trailblazer. I can’t lie to you though, the constant stream of media-related ideas filling my head with the “hottest” new trends in fashion, the prettiest, most perfectly-decorated apartments, and flawless, scantily-clad peers with what seem like air-brushed abs makes it a little hard not to get caught up in it all. Due to this (and probably a handful of other deep-seated issues we’ll all get acquainted with later on), I find myself unfulfilled and uninspired.
These (what seem like) unwarranted feelings of emptiness were my internal cue to dive headfirst into self-exploration and to connect more with my inner “Keaton”. What I’ve come to realize over the last month or so is that the answers to those three questions I listed above are actually 100% relative.
Let me break down what I’m getting at. Answers to “life’s greater questions” are dependent on who and where you are in that moment, and as we all know, moments are fleeting; as are our beliefs, our thoughts, our feelings, our clothes, our current hairstyle, our meal of choice… you get where I’m going with this. So many of us accept that we need to form into the mold that has been set for us by society, our parents, our partners, our friends, even ourselves. However, what we also don’t realize is that in order to live each day as our most authentic selves, we need to break that mold that we are continuously attempting to shove ourselves into.
We wriggle and squirm in the confines that were pre-shaped for us by everything external and think that is normal; we live the same, old, boring-ass blasé story day after day after day.
Kyle Cease puts it quite matter-of-factly in his new book, I Hope I Screw This Up. Basically, “anything outside of what we’ve experienced before is threatening to the identities we’ve had our entire lives.” We are so scared shitless and caught up in staying inside of our pre-determined molds that many of us never get the chance to lead the life our soul, heart, inner-self (whatever you want to call it) intends. Mind-blowing, right?
So, my question… what are we going to do about it? I say, “let’s evolve together!”