I’m sure if you’re a millennial, you’ve felt it.
That feeling of uncertainty. Questioning everything. Begging for enlightenment.
While staring blankly at the unknown, you still try to keep your shit together. Have a good time with your friends, smile at people on the street, be grateful for what you already do have, make the most of everyday and post an insta pic with a positive quote.
But it still lingers. The frustration, impatience and hesitation.
We’ve detached ourselves from doing one thing and being good at it like we’re told in school, to having too many options available and only just keeping our head about water in a sea of overwhelm.
Maybe we’ve only done one thing and had enough. Maybe we’ve tried to many things and we just don’t know anymore. Maybe we’ve felt like we’ve done absolutely nothing at all.
Two months ago I sat in the middle of my favourite book shop, coffee in hand, eyes gazed at all of the different binds on the shelves.
This was after a three month stint of chaos and confusion. Going back home, crying in my mothers arms and saying to myself ‘what the fuck am I doing with my life’.
I’m twenty-five now, and have spent the first half of my twenties as a writer, blogger, interpreter, barista, essential oil educator and traveller. I’ve experienced the creative juggle between doing what you love and making a living. The highs and lows of ‘finding your purpose’. The battle between contentment and yearning for reward. The feeling one moment that ‘I’m right where I’m meant to be’ and then the next moment screaming ‘just do something linear and successful already’.
But I believe this goes beyond a quarter-life crisis. It's life. We all crave something that is aligned with our values and encompasses our truth. But what I believe now, is that we're forever on a journey of figuring stuff out and redefining what truly matters to us. Whether we're in our twenties, thirties or forties, change is unavoidable.
I sat there a little longer, my thoughts dancing around in my head. I knew I loved helping people, whether through my writing, listening, being there or creating mini-miracles.
But writing solely wasn’t satisfying me enough. It’s not that I don’t love it to death because I do. Quite simply, I just knew there was more for me. A yearning to learn again. Absorb knowledge. Grow in expertise. Develop leadership.
So in that very moment, I decided I wanted to study counselling. A sigh of relief which strangely but instantly cleared the exasperation pent up in my heart for months.
Am I certain of my decision now? Yes.
Will this be the path I continue in ten years time? Who knows.
But the real lesson I took away here, wasn't finding the answer. It was everything else in between.
The 'find your purpose' tale is not a romantic one. It's messy. You discover truths about yourself, but have no idea how to act upon them. You have meltdowns. You have coffee dates with people that you hope might have the answer for you but they don't. You get life-coaching that leaves you feeling inspired instantly but then a few months later, you find yourself lost again. You have kinesiology appointments because you think it's an emotional thing. You get psychic readings because they have to deliver answers even if they are ambiguous. Or you find yourself being an over-consumer of self-help books.
And that is the chaos of self-discovery.
But through each and every frustration, hope, mistake and breakthrough - there’s a chance for us to to grow.
Looking in from the outside in a physical sense, I could tell myself the last five years were wasted and I should’ve tried harder to figure this out sooner, not give up on my writing so easily or stuck to a career and worked hard on it.
But emotionally and mentally, these last five years has seen me connect and learn from others, unbound myself from expectations, build resilience and one of my favourites - stand with conviction and truth about what I want.
Most importantly, it's allowed me to not only be stronger because of it, but feel stronger.
Whether it takes you five months, five years or ten years to figure it all out, it’s irrelevant. Because even when you get there, chances are you'll feel it again someday.
And if that time comes, be open to the process again.
Because nothing is ever certain.
But what is certain, is how we choose to embrace the messiness of it.