Hello, sweet soul.
I know that you feel lost and confused on this journey we call life. You look around you and everyone else seems to know what they want. You tried on a few ideas because they sounded good, but nothing ever sticks. None of it satisfies you. And yet, despite your unwillingness to stay in something that does not fulfill your potential … you aren’t sure what does. It’s difficult to admit that to others. It’s even hard to admit it to yourself.
You feel scared, insecure and frustrated. You’re an intelligent person. It doesn’t make sense to you, this lack of direction. If you’re so smart, shouldn’t you know where you want to go and what you want to do to affect this world meaningfully? You shrink, small and ashamed of your uncertainty. You let it box you in. Survival mode kicks in and you accept offers you don’t want, wander down tangential side streets that feel inherently wrong. You know this isn’t it. But if you don’t know what is, then what else can you do?
That’s where you’ve lost your way, without knowing it. Leaning into security, into safety, out of deep fear and anxiety. If you fail, there’s no one to catch you. If you fail, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. You’ve heard that trying and failing is the only way to rise, but you don’t believe it. That might work for others. Not for you.
You’re unhappy, stuck in this purgatory between failure and truth. Going neither forwards nor backwards, but unsettled nonetheless. You know that there’s no turning back, but you can’t see what’s ahead and you fear stepping toward the unknowable.
The truth is that no one knows where they’re going. They truly don’t. How can they when there is nothing real but this present moment? You are not broken or wrong for your confusion. Doubt is normal. Fear, unfortunately, is too. It’s up to you to decide how you want to approach this life. You can admit that you don’t know what’s next and approach the present with curiosity, openness, and joy. You can also live the rest of your life doubting yourself and your journey. It’s your choice to make. Whether you like it or not, you decide what happens next. There is no one else in the ring this time. It’s your life, and you create it, for better or for worse.
You don’t have to know where you’re going to get there. Your life is moving, with or without your participation. You can’t stop time, so you might as well enjoy the time you have. Let go of worry about what’s to come and immerse yourself in what’s here. That’s the only secret you need to know.
(Originally published on Thought Catalog)