When I was in elementary school, it seemed like everyone knew what they were doing. The middle schoolers looked so put together, so old without needing their parents or siblings to do anything.
And then I got to middle school…and I didn’t feel old, I still wanted my parents around and was still attempting to be friends with my older brother. I looked up at the high school students, with their own cars and boyfriends, edgy clothes and attitudes and thought “Ah, it must be in high school that you figure your life out, that you get it all together.”
And then I got to high school, and contrary to my belief, life seemed to be getting harder and more complicated. Having a car came with driving expenses and requests for rides; having a boyfriend meant broken hearts and new adventures. And people started asking my questions about the future. I had to choose a school I wanted to attend, based on what I wanted to do for the rest of my life…how was I supposed to do that??
So I looked up to college students. Most of them moved away from their homes, started new lives, went to parties and had study sessions in their multi-level libraries. That, that must be where people figured out their lives. If they are studying for a career, they must have some direction for their future…right?
And then I got to college, and decided college is where you find yourself, where you find what matters, and learn to live for the important things in life. Yet no one had their lives figured out. People struggled with whether they had chosen the right major, balancing their social lives with their academic lives, and the pressure from friends and families that seemed to grow with each year…until graduation. When you’re suddenly grinning as you walk up the stage, cheering with the rest of your classmates as they announce that you can move the tassel to the other side of your cap, and accepting hugs and congratulations from everyone, while slyly avoiding the question of “What are you going to do now?”
It wasn’t until I finally made it out on my own that I realized no one has a concrete idea what they’re doing with their lives. Even those who seem like they have their lives together, are still making decisions. I wish my 9 year old self could see me now- 13 years later and still trying to put my life together. But life isn’t about trying to have everything together and figured out, it’s about enjoying everything that you do, every experience that helps you turn into the wonderful person you are.