28 October, 2010

Pursuit #52: Deep thoughts, by Me

Lately I have been pondering this questions a lot:  What Should I Do With My Life? It's an age-old question that many of us ask ourselves periodically (or perhaps all the time? Ha). In April, after a couple years of quarter-life crisis-ing, I finally decided to quit my job and change my career path. After talking to friends and an analysis of what I want out of a job and my personal qualities and job shadowing, I decided on Occupational Therapy. Now 6 months later, and knee deep in prerequisite classes that are required for admission to an OT program and grad school applications, I seem to be asking myself that same question. AGAIN. Or rather, is this really what I want to do with my life?

Maybe I'm just one of those directionless people. A career nomad. Or maybe I still haven't figured out "who I really am" yet and don't know myself well enough to choose something. Or maybe I'm holding back from what I really want to do out of fear, and have only chosen career paths based on false pretenses. I think I'm a pretty intelligent person. So why is answering this question so difficult for me?

I stumbled upon this book which has assured me that I'm not alone in these thoughts. Author Po Bronson surveyed 900 people over 2 years about this omnipresent question in order to write this book. It has also reassured me that for these people in the book "It wasn’t just a matter of finding the right puzzle piece to match their skills; they had to grow as a person first." 

The past 6 months have definitely been a growing experience for me. They have made me realize a few things:

1. Sometimes the things we think we want, aren't really what we want. 

2. The way to figure out what we want should not be a heavily analytical process. The answers (as hokie as it sounds) are in our hearts, not our minds.

3. Our true callings are rarely "epiphanies." And they're usually rather unclear. 

4. Making mistakes is part of the process, as it is necessary for learning. We learn from the failures.

I don't have it figured out yet; but I decided for now that that's perfectly acceptable. I'll continue to meander down my windy path and hopefully I'll find some good things along the way...

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