What the F*CK am I doing?
The questions I get asked the most are, “What are you doing? When are you going to become a ‘real human’, get a ‘real job’?” The truth is, I don’t know what I’m doing. And the more people asked, the more I worry, “Am I traveling to escape, to put off real life?” I’ve always known how it works: high school, college, career. I never had dreams of traveling. I never felt caged in. I never felt a need to escape. I never feared the ‘real job’. I can’t figure out exactly how this all started.
My feeling is that a lot of human decisions are based on fear. Going to college just because we’re scared of societal judgement. Staying close to home just because we’re scared of change. Doing only the things we’re good at just because we’re scared of discomfort. Committing to a partner just because we’re scared to be alone. Working jobs we hate just because we’re scared of the unknown.
My biggest fear
So the question I’m battling: what fears dictate my decisions? My biggest fear is not realizing my calling. We all have one. That’s something I believe so profoundly. The complete cosmic randomness that had to take place for each of us to land here in this life. There is a reason.
Punch the Clock
My college lacrosse coach used to say, “The great players don’t just punch the time clock.” He pushed us to work outside the hours that were required. I loved that on/off the clock metaphor because the implication was that everyone was capable of being great. It’s a simple formula. I did believe that was true of great players, so in turn, I did believe I too could be great. That was a motivating belief.
That quote and its implication holds true far beyond athletics. The formula is just more complex. The classic cliché goes, “If you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life.” The great players don’t punch the time clock because they’ve found where their passions and energies align.
I fear a life where I punch in at 9 and clock out at 5. Where between that 9 to 5, my only care is that time moves faster so I can get out of here sooner. Where I wake up and hit repeat. Where I am comforted by: ‘but at least I’m making good money’.
What I want to be when I grow up
I’ve never been able to answer the, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I was unable because I considered the wrong answers. Job titles are not the only way to answer that question. I do know what I want to do when I grow up. I want to work a job that starts at 9, but I get in at 7 because excitement woke me. I want that same job to only require I stay until 5, but I finally checked the time and when did it become midnight? I want to be comforted by knowing I am doing what I really care about.
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m making decisions out of fear. I’m trying not to let societal judgement, change, discomfort, loneliness, or the unknown scare me. I’m not traveling to escape real life, I’m traveling to discover it. I’m trying new things in new places with new people, trying to find what I’m really passionate about. The great players find it. My search goes on, but I believe I’m starting to get closer. That is a motivating belief.
Hey, if you’re still here, thanks for committing to that lengthy bit. I feel vulnerable, yet clearer. This question of “What am I doing?” has consumed me. I haven’t been able to understand these thoughts and feelings until writing them out. It feels good. Thanks for reading.
Now, get the b*pp out of here!