That’s what I choose to call my 20s: those young, ambitious years where you’re supposed to find your big PURPOSE in life. You go through school (maybe) come out with a polished degree and then spend the next however many years searching from job to job. Or you hit your niche early on. Or you don’t hit that niche, but you still know what it is. As a writer I am one of those people struggling to find a practical place for their skill. I was recommended by a friend to start here, in the online community. While applying for jobs and asking for opportunities, he reminded me that it is very important to have a self-start mentality. The question is: where do I start?
One particular moment from college stands out. One Sunday, while attending a worship service, our chaplain gave a sermon on finding purpose. He simply told it like this (to paraphrase): “I spent four years of college finishing my major, taking classes, and then got out and found out that I was just as clueless as before. What baffled me was that my parents were the exact same age as I was when they got married. And I wondered to myself: how did they do it?”
Whenever you get to the point in life where it’s time to start making the big calls, you begin to put yourself in the same shoes as everyone else. You begin to measure yourself up to a much larger standard. And if you’re anything like me, this can make you feel nervous, intimidated at times. Recently I’ve read several articles discussing the dilemma of the modern millennial: ambition, but disillusionment. It’s this whole idea of being brought up on a grand scheme and then finding out that the world doesn’t really work according to that scheme. It’s a sort of aimless searching around, trading jobs and resumes in the hope that something somewhere will turn up exactly as you had hoped.
You’re afraid to be confused at this point because you think you shouldn’t be. You think that everything should be mapped out after college, in spite of the fact that your major may not determine your future career. I went to school for Political Science. My true, deepest passion is creative writing. For me the biggest thing is finding conflict between passion and practicality. I suppose everyone with creative ambitions feels the same way. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe they’ve already found a place for their formative niche. Others are still looking. And others, unlike me, may not have a single clue as to what they want to do. But it constantly seems like crunch time.
I guess an answer would be to start with a mental list. Use it from experience. Ask yourself what are some of the things professionally that you’ve done that you don’t want to continue, or want to change and improve. Yes, you’ve eventually got to decide what route you want to take. But it helps if you know which ones not to take. I think this is the stage I am at right now: listing and crossing things off. And I do know some things that I want to do: I want to write an epic fantasy novel (currently working on), I want to write a sci-fi series (did a draft in high school/college but stopped midway), and I want to write a satirical comic strip (started). I guess the problem is, I keep looking ahead like everyone else, imagining myself right there in the moment, when I should be doing as much as I can right now to get to that moment. By my friend’s encouragement, the best way is to self-start. Doesn’t matter where, but self-start in whatever area you know you’re passionate about.
That’s the route I’m going to take.
(This is my second post here: feel free to leave lots of feedback. Always looking for advice, comments on how to improve my style)