“Hey Bee, I’d like to know what inspires you in life. What sets your soul on fire? I feel lost & I’m unsure what my purpose is supposed to be. I’m in my early 20’s & I feel like I should have it figured out by now.”
Hello “Young & Lost” ,
You are not alone.I know it may feel like you are. Actually, plenty of people have been or are dealing with these same feelings right now, especially in this pandemic stricken world. They just don’t openly talk about it. Like my whole furloughed situation that turned into a complete layoff. YAY!!! Society teaches us to put up this front where we tell people we are fine when really we are struggling. Social media is a huge culprit of this because people would rather share their highlight reels than the reality of any situation. And believe me, I’m definitely someone who prefers to see the glass half full in most instances, but it can become disheartening when you feel like you are the only one going through it. But I’m here to tell you, behind those “perfect feeds” are individuals dealing with the same feelings & struggles as you.
When I was in my early 20’s, life was rough. In college, my educational path changed so often I thought I never would finish. I chose a direction that made sense to the rest of world but didn’t set my soul on fire like you said. It wasn’t that I didn’t have an interest in psychology. I love helping people understand other perspectives. The diagnosis part just wasn’t my thing. I just should have stayed with journalism. My passion has always been writing. I love sharing my thoughts & perspectives. But in no way am I regretful for the degree I earned. This was something I wanted at the time. And like most humans, I evolved. My interests changed. Or rather, I stopped listening to the opinions of others & followed my heart. The main thing to remember though is I don’t think we ever figure it all out. I think the purpose of life is to continue to grow, find new interests to add to the old ones & develop into an individual with layers.
A huge reason I felt extremely lost was I had the mindset of pleasing other people, following the crowd & always wanting more. Part of the reason I became a minimalist was to gain a clearer mind. Once you let go of the unnecessary & all the useless stuff around you, you can properly visualize your purpose. I thought success was this black & white path with no grey area. I didn’t understand that it can be defined however I see fit. And once I let go of those strict expectations brought on by society, I was no longer lost.
Also I don’t think age has anything to do with it. Sure, we become wiser through experience. But I think life will always throw you different obstacles. Each chapter of life will have its moments. It’s how you react to those situations is what makes all the difference. The biggest change was my mindset shift. Instead of waking up worried about the future & meeting certain milestones when you are “supposed to”. Everyone has a different path. And that path goes at the speed that’s needed for each person. This doesn’t mean one direction is better or more successful than the other. It’s just different. I think we all (me included) need to learn to just live. I personally believe most people spend their days focused on “getting there”. Once you hit one milestone, there’s always one trailing right behind you. And what truly makes it worse are the pressures of other people. I for one am sick of people thinking they run my life. And no, I’m not talking about advice. I’m talking about the individuals questioning everything & making judgements when it’s unnecessary.
“Why aren’t you engaged?”
“When are you getting married?”
“Why did you pick that career?”
“Don’t you want to make more money?”
“Why don’t you have kids?”
“Why don’t you have MORE kids?”
“Why are you tired?”
“Why are you working?”
“Why aren’t you staying home with the kids?”
“Why did you choose to be a stay at home mom?”
“Why are you always so busy?”
“Why aren’t you busy enough?”
This shit needs to stop. Or rather, the reactions to these questions need to be altered. Life is this way. People are curious beings & nosy. Instead of getting upset or angry & start questioning your life choices, just breath. And tell yourself everything will work out as it should when it should when it’s right for YOU.
I asked people on Twitter what advice they would give someone in their 20’s who is lost. Here are some of the inspiring responses:
These replies even opened my eyes to the questionable feelings of turning 30 this year. I hate the feeling of “once you are this age your life is over.” When in reality, there are so many wonderful things to still happen to all of us. I truly hope this post makes you feel enlightened & better about figuring your life out. Remember, we are all in this together. *Que the high school musical theme song* Let me know in the comments your experiences with quarter life crisis or feeling lost. I’d love to keep the conversation going.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.