How to Figure out What you Really Want
Let me just say, why is it so hard to figure out what you really want to do nowadays?
Around college, was when I started feeling this way. As a kid I always knew what I wanted and when I wanted it. I wasn’t ashamed of changing my mind, nor did I feel guilty for changing my mind, multiple times. Why is it so hard now?
I believe that it’s all society’s fault. Hold on, I’m only joking. While I think society did play a really important role in me feeling this way, I definitely don’t hold it accountable. That seems ridiculous. Anyway. Long story short, my parents are immigrants, and they worked hard. They wanted what was best for me, so I was told to get a good education and that would in turn lead to a good job.
I believe my parents had good intentions when they said I’d make no money being a marine biologist. My dad repeatedly told me that he knew a marine biologist who had three jobs in order to afford being a marine biologist. As a child I remember thinking, it doesn’t matter how many jobs the marine biologist (my dad was talking about) needed in order to pursue his passion, he made it work and that’s the dream.
See my dad didn’t see it that way. He saw it as work. Work, work, and work, only to have even more work. It wasn’t his dream. And as I started to see it that way, it wasn’t my dream either. So as my college years drew closer, I picked a totally different major and decided to make money so I didn’t end up like the marine biologist.
Years later, and probably making more money than the marine biologist in my dad’s story, my life is good. I like it, there’s definitely nothing wrong with it, but I sometimes think, “Is this really what I want?” Do I even know what I really want? Because right now I don’t have any desire to be a marine biologist. That ship has sailed and there is no regret.
So, what do I want now?
I think I missed the point that I was trying to make, to myself, as a kid. (However awkward that sentence sounds.) Being a marine biologist wasn’t “the dream” it was my curiosity. The dream was finding a way to pursue my curiosity, and if that means holding three jobs in order to satisfy my curiosity, then that becomes the dream. And I can move forward from there.
As I said earlier, I don't feel any regret, not becoming a marine biologist. I view it as a passing curiosity. Certainly if I did feel regret, I could always go back and find a way to pursue it. I shouldn't feel ashamed for choosing a different route. I think we place too much emphasis on "following our passion". It can lead us down a very stressful and sometimes narrow road. Perhaps we don't have a "passion" yet. And how do you discover this amazing singular "passion" without following a few different curious paths first?
When it boils down to what we want, I think at the most basic level; we all want time. Time to focus, time to relax, or just time to be what we want to be, at that specific moment. Life has a way of pulling all our time, and it’s become work to find that little bit of time for ourselves. So much work and sacrifice and guilt. Sometimes it seems better to not take that time, and instead to focus on the hope that if we continue giving into life’s ever demanding demands, we may have time in the future that will be ours. But, what if it never stops? In all honesty, it is most likely never going to stop. We have to take the time when we can, now.
I’m not saying quit everything and live young, and wild and free.Actually, I don’t even know what that means. I’m saying, be responsible and work towards a balanced lifestyle. Carve out some time to dedicate to yourself because reality’s demands are constant. Relieve some of those pressures by finding different ways to make life easier. Find faster, healthier recipes and meal plan. Get on an efficient cleaning schedule. Do an earlier morning routine. All these things will help you find a little more time for yourself. And you’ll find that in that time, something creative will find you.
If you are worried about not having a “curiosity” – don’t. It’s there. Focus on time and your curiosities will find you.