It’s okay to not know.
Next month my little sister (who’s not so little anymore) will be graduating from cosmetology school. That in itself blows our minds, because when Rob and I started dating, she was only eight years old and we were celebrating her birthday at Adventureland. Crazzzzy, but anyway… We recently had a conversation that got us thinking about our paths in life…school, work, goals…all the big stuff you think about or are forced to think about when you reach a new chapter or stage in your life. There’s so much stress and worry around living and your lifestyle. Like many middle class suburban families, our parents instilled in us at an early age a certain check list of sorts: go to school, get your degree, get a good paying job, get married, buy a house, have children… You can kind of see where we’re going with this. For some people, that works and for others, it doesn’t. My mother has shared stories with me about how she wanted nothing more than to become a wife and a mother when she was growing up. Having a family was very important to her and something that has been very fulfilling and given her a sense of pride. Some people just know what they want, where they want to live, what career path they want to go down and others, don’t….and that’s okay.
We are part of that group of people that didn’t know. We graduated from college with our degrees in psychology and quickly got jobs working in education. It was something that was familiar to us with family in the field. It was convenient, and we really loved working with children, but we both knew we wanted something different. At the time, we just didn’t know how to get there or exactly what it was we were yearning for creatively, but we felt it.
As my sister is approaching her graduation and is feeling pressured with the famous question of “what’s next?”, I became so frustrated with the idea that we should just know and once we know what we want to do, that it’s the only path we should be headed down. I remember hating big extended family dinners around the time of my high school and college graduations, where everyone sat around asking what my big plans were. In our late twenties we’re still learning every single day. Learning how to cook new things, fix something around the apartment (although, having a maintenance team is pretty nice), how to improve our credit score, wash a new fabric, mortgage options, the list goes on…
It sometimes feels like we’re being tricked into thinking everyone else around us has it all figured out. We assume people just know “these things” and we’re expected to just know about x, y, and z. The older we get, the more we’re realizing it’s not true. I remember reading blogs and looking around at the people close to me thinking, “How are they doing it?” Everyone questions things and everyone has horribly messy days. You may change majors, not understand how to fill out a new tax form, want to change jobs, have forgotten to turn the crock-pot on and had to run out to pick up food, (we can seriously keep the examples coming way too easily 😉 ) and that’s okay. We’re learning that once you have one thing figured out, there will most likely be a new hurdle to jump through waiting for you around the corner. When that happens just call a friend and know there’s been so many people out there who have been uncertain about some of the very same things before.
We’re all figuring it out together.
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