I didn’t always know what I wanted to do in my life.
But my parents, for the most part, let me be. The thought of living with my lifelong belligerence was probably unimaginable. You know those children whose parents say have given them nothing but joy from the day they were born? I’m not one of them.
Not a bad kid but a bit of a wild child. Curious, energetic, adventurous. Obstinate, fiery, tenacious. Always questioning the rules. Always pushing the envelope.
I might have done a few things in my time that raised my parents’ eyebrows but nothing that would have put me in jail or damn me to eternal hell. By today’s standards, I was practically a saint.
Two important life events brought me to sobriety. Twelve years of schooling under a conservative Catholic institution and four years of Accountancy. Those years, though highly restrictive and emotionally tumultuous, were instrumental in the development of order and discipline in my life.
But order didn’t bring clarity to my life. I still didn’t know which way to go. So, for a very long time, I felt lost. I had many interests but nothing lit a fire except writing and that didn’t seem to be a practical path to take.
I no longer wanted to be a pain to my parents. I just wanted to be what they wanted me to be.
At that time, I truly believed I was doomed to a miserable life because I couldn’t do what I loved. Looking back, I realize how juvenile this mindset was. It’s like believing that if you can’t be with the person you love, you can never live happily.
Fairy tales are what they are—tales. They’re not “real” stories.
There is not just one person you can love and who can love you. There is not just one path you can take in life. You can get lost in the maze of forks before you and in losing your way, still discover so many other delightful trails.
You can’t close your heart and mind to people you’ve never met or places you’ve never been to.
You don’t have to know what you want to do with your life. Now. But you don’t stop walking. You don’t give up. You keep going. You don’t lose the faith. You never know, at the next bend, what waits.
The search for significance is not what we think.
It’s not one goal that needs to be reached. It’s not one finish line that needs to be crossed. It’s not one battle that needs to be won. It’s one life that needs to be lived.
So, live it well — with joy, with passion, with integrity.
I didn’t always know what I wanted to do in my life. I still don’t.
But I know what I don’t want to do in my life. I don’t want to give up because I’m tired, foggy or forgetful. I don’t want to stop living because I’m old, irrelevant and invisible.
We write our own stories. No matter what happens, we can all live happily.