…Who Can’t Make A Decision
Since graduating from college in 2011, I’d classify myself as somewhat lost. Not entirely lost in the sense that my actions resemble those of a chicken with its head cut off, but more like a stubborn nine year old intent on running away from home after her parents denied her of a puppy, but with zero idea where she’ll go or how she’ll get there.
Some people enter college with a specific career in mind and dedicate their time in school to attaining that objective. My life leading up to college was so goal oriented – I knew that I wanted to play lacrosse at Princeton and set my sights on achieving that goal. But once there I had no idea where I wanted to be post-graduation; in fact, I avoided the topic out of fear of feeling exactly how I felt upon graduating. Confused, ambitious to make a difference but oblivious to a desired career path, and wanting everything to unfold in front of me – it was like I wanted to know who I would be in 10 years, but didn’t know what steps I needed to take to get there.
While I seem all over the map and coo-coo brained, I’ve received fabulous advice throughout the years from various sources, as well as drafted my own words of wisdom. For those who can resonate with me even a tiny bit (I’m confident that the numbers are slim as I seem to be exceptionally challenged) here’s some advice and insight from the one and only.
1. Put yourself before the crowd.
I don’t mean act selfishly, but rather think about who you are, your goals, and what you like, and follow a career path or passion that resonates with it all. For me, it helps to think about my elementary/middle school self. I followed my passions and participated in activities I loved – in effect, what would your pure, fresh, naive middle school self do now? If you answer, “make shrinky-dinks,” perhaps think a little deeper.
2. Be an individual and don’t get caught up in what others are doing, nor care what others think (this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look and act presentable).
Although it’s tempting and hard to resist following your friends, or the “norm,” after graduation, there’s a whole world that exists beyond cities and the corporate environment. Think outside the box!
3. Be present. Live in the moment.
While I’m a guilty Instagram addict, I’m not so sure what we’re trying to prove to one another by being so social media present when it’s incomparably more important to just be present. Getting likes or reassurance on something cool you did doesn’t make that feat more important or impressive. A couple of days ago, the nytimes published a blog post in response to a powerful YouTube video called, “I Forgot My Phone,” (watch below) on the topic of social media overuse. Charlene deGuzman, the woman who stars in and produced the video said, “I still have my phone with me, but I try to leave it in my purse. Now I find myself just taking in a moment, and I don’t have to post a picture about it.”
4. Love everyone (with the exception of a lot of people). Be open.
People can sense someone who is emotionally free and inviting – these people give off positive vibes that attract not only friends, but also maybe that husband you likely didn’t find in college…not that you should be searching. Seekers never find.
5. Don’t not do something out of fear of missing out on something else.
The above sentence likely makes little sense, so I’ll elaborate with an example. After college graduation, I had the opportunity to participate in a six-month NOLS outdoor educator program, but decided against it out of fear of missing out on post-grad life. Some of the silly and vain concerns I had which strayed me away from the program – if I participated in the program, that would mean six months where I would miss out on meeting new friends, being with my school friends, and meeting cute guys. More importantly, I would be six months behind on “real” life, which I now realize is nonsense. In fact, had I participated in the course, perhaps I’d have a clearer idea of the path I’d want to be on now.
6. Just do it.
If you want to do something, JUST DO IT. Don’t talk about doing it, but instead take action. Go with your gut.
7. It’s OK to not know what you want to do.
Make well thought out decisions, avoid acting impulsively, and enjoy each and every experience and opportunity. As the profound Emma Simmons once said,
“When life hands you lemons, grab the tequila and take life for a ride.”
What would you do if you could do anything?
And with that, I leave you with two unrelated must-reads:
Frieda and Friends