It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

18 Jun

“So, what do you want to do with your life?”

THIS is the great existential question of our generation.

No matter how many times you ask me (mom, dad, strangers who pretend to care), my answer will always be the same.

“I DON’T KNOW.”

Why can’t the existential question of our generation be something simple.

Like, are you a dog person or a cat person?

Easy.

Dog person.

Or

“Orange juice or apple juice?”

Easy.

Apple.

But, no. Adults, teachers, peers, and anybody who can get a word in edge wise will ask you the same loaded question over and over again as if one day, you will have a satisfying answer.

I don’t know what I want to do with my life, but I can tell you what I don’t want. I don’t want to constantly worry about figuring out what I do want. I don’t want to force myself to live up to the expectations others have set for me. I don’t want to become someone that I am not or do something I hate solely to impress others. Most of all, I don’t want to be one of those people who focuses all their energy on figuring out what they do want and forget to live.

The only way to figure out what you want is to live life. Meet new people. Travel. Go broke. Make mistakes. Get fired. Quit your job. Be passionate. Love. Laugh. Follow your heart. Trust your self.

You don’t have to know how your life is going to turn out. And anyway, why would you want to? The journey is what makes life what it is. Nobody likes the person who skips to the end of the book they are reading, or googles the ending of a television show to see who ends up with who, or tells everybody else how their favorite movie ends. Don’t be THAT person. The person who needs to know every tiny little detail in order to function in every day life. Comprehension does not necessarily lead to satisfaction.

This whole “needing-to-know-everything-right now-or-I-will-combust” mentality just needs to stop. For real.

It’s so American. And it is probably the cause of 80% of heart attacks. Okay I just made that statistic up, but you get the point. This mentality leads to a stressful life. One that will most likely be based on monetary values. And that just isn’t acceptable to me.

Stop asking me what I want do with my life.

Stop asking me who I am and what I want.

I am twenty-one years old. How the hell should I know?!

I could end up in some swanky job climbing my way to the top of the corporate ladder. I could be a struggling writer who never gets anything published. I could be a bartender at night and a waitress during the day. Who knows. The point is, I could be happy doing any of these things as long as I stay true to myself. The rest is just rust and stardust.

(That was a Vladimir Nobokov reference in case you didn’t know. Lolita is the bees knees.)

Anyway.

Some people live their entire lives without knowing. This does not mean they are unhappy or unsatisfied or unaccomplished.

Why is society built upon values where everyone must live their life a certain way to be considered successful? Or to truly be considered “someone.” Not everyone has every detail of their life figured out. In fact, if we all stopped trying to maintain these  illusions of perfection than perhaps, we would be able to relate to each other more.

Stop hiding behind the facade you think others want to see.

It’s okay to not be okay.

It’s okay to have no idea who you are.

Just learn to roll with it.

I know what I like. I know what I am passionate about. I know what makes me happy.

The truth is, I don’t know what I want to do with my life.

And I am only just now realizing, I’m okay with that.

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8 Responses to “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay”

  1. queerf0x June 18, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Bravo, that is a wonderful speech. I get so sick of that category of question, too.

    A conversation — to me, at least — should be about discovering the thoughts and passions and idea and world of another person. Asking people stuff like this just feels like they’re missing the point; it’s as though they are just trying to figure out what box to fit you into. It isn’t a conversation; it’s an interrogation for which you will be weighted and judged.

    Or possibly I’m just extra sensitive to it due to having to put up with so many lectures from adults when they would find out I was homeschooled…. *shrug*

    I think you’re right, though. I’m almost 26, and I barely feel like I’m getting a vague idea of being an adult, much less the direction in which to go in life. I know what I’m drawn to, what makes me happy. I’m starting to try to avoid the things that make me unhappy. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten with what I want to do with my life: be happy/content/fulfilled, avoid misery/unhappiness/depression as much as possible, while accepting that both sides of the coin are a part of life.
    I think for an average twenty-something to have sorted out as much as we each have is basically an impressive (albeit obvious) enlightenment, and that we should get about another decade of exploring life before we’re asked to know anything more about it. The twenties are, for the more recent generations at least, a transition age. We don’t really have our act together yet — we don’t even know what we want our act to be — and we shouldn’t have to. We only just started getting treated as adults, since teenagers certainly aren’t, and the adjustment takes a while. We need to celebrate the fact that we get such a transition these days, and take every advantage from it, instead of letting ourselves get bullied past it into what’s “expected”.

    I could go on, but I’m not sure I’m making much sense now since I’m actually very tired and should probably be going to bed. Mostly I just wanted to tell you that this post is great, and you are awesome.

    • Taylor Devost June 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      Haha YOU are awesome for giving such a thoughtful response to my blog, because most people don’t take the time to do that and I truly appreciate it! I love hearing what other people think. So, thank you! And I agree. I think the beauty of being young is being completely lost and confused. It’s miserable and confusing, but in the best possible way! I love what you said about people just trying to see what box you fit into! That is exactly how I feel and it’s sad that our culture is so adamant about making young people feel like they must know everything or they are a failure. Anyway, thanks SO much for reading. You are the best! 🙂

      • queerf0x June 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

        Having identified as genderqueer ever since I found there was a word for the way I felt about my gender, I’m acutely aware of society’s love of boxing people into labels, lol.
        It also comes from being homeschooled. The first thing an adult would ask me is what grade I was in. I would tell them I was homeschooled and that we didn’t go by grades. They would ask how old I was, and when I would tell them they would say what grade I would be in. And that would be it, or perhaps they would quiz me about random facts to see how “smart” I was, or maybe I’d get a lecture about how unsocialized I was (even though they were the ones unable to have a real conversation). Every. Single. Time. I got so bored of it, because none of them actually wanted to know anything real about me. They just wanted to know where to file me away in their head.

        You’re completely right, the magic and romanticizing of youth all comes from that feeling of being on the edge of anything and everything, and being lost and free at the same time. The pain and passion and joy is untempered by too much wisdom. We can each be the Byronic Hero of the epic tale and tragedy of our lives, and paradoxically be swept away by bliss. Our lives can be poetry.

        Also, I tend to be philosophic and loquacious — I’m a writer, so it’s part of my nature — so thank you for appreciating it! ^_^

  2. caseyyybot June 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    You are amazing!! Thank you for this. I needed it ❤ I love you, Tay!

    To Life. Cheers!

  3. taurusingemini June 19, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    It would be hard, finding that BALANCE between other people’s expectations, and, through it all, your own voice gets lost, and, after that, it will take you a very LONG time, to finally find it back again…

    • Taylor Devost June 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

      so true. it’s important to remember that your desires, your voice are what truly matters when it comes to dictating how your life turns out! xxo

  4. TheMysteriousOuroboros June 25, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Reblogged this on The Mysterious Ouroboros and commented:
    I think a lot of people would understand the sentiment portrayed so well in this post.

  5. lereader June 25, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Reblogged this on HODGEPODGEJELLYBRAIN and commented:
    I needed to hear this from somebody else. Intelligently written. 🙂

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