What the Heck Am I Supposed to do?

There was a time when I was eight that I wanted to join the military. I was 100% sure that the army was where I was supposed to be. I was going to show that girls could be powerful and strong and I was going to help my country.

About a week later I changed my mind. (I have knee issues and asthma, so it definitely wasn’t going to work out, anyway.)

In sixth grade, after another day of doodling all through class, I decided I was destined to be a cartoonist.

Move over, Jim Davis. I was going to more infamous than Garfield.

I sketched Veggie Tales characters and dogs with big heads. I loved it. Clearly, this was my calling.

A little later in middle school, after watching a documentary on Disney and Pixar in art class, I knew exactly what I was going to be when I grew up:

an animator at Pixar Studios.

Again, this was a short-lived dream, as I soon realized that most of my drawings weren’t original and that I wasn’t nearly good enough to work for Pixar.

In eighth grade, my English teacher approached me after class once to talk about a story I had turned in.

“This is really good. Would you ever consider being an author?”

I hadn’t ever considered it until that very moment.

I suddenly had a very clear vision of my future: I was going to be a writer, marry an architect (which I also wanted to be for a while), and live on a ranch in California with a few horses, chickens, and a ton of dogs.

I joined a writing website called Storybird and started writing little stories and poems.

I continued writing on this site all throughout high school, and at the end of my junior year, they invited me to work with them.

Get this: they wanted to pay me to write a middle-grade chapter book.

They wanted to pay me. To write.

This was what I wanted for my future and it was happening now.

Wicked cool.

I was contracted for about a year, in which I wrote my first completed novella.

I had never been so sure of myself and my calling. This was my destiny.

I began at Cornerstone University in the fall of 2015, pursuing my degree in Creative Writing.

(It might be worth noting that for a brief amount of time I pondered if I should go to Kendall for Interior Design. I can’t help but wonder where I’d be if I’d gone that route.)

I had never been more certain of anything in my life.

But halfway through my four years at Cornerstone, I changed my major.

Who saw that coming? (literally everyone who knows me raises their hands)

And even now. I’m a college graduate. I have my B.A. in communication with a minor in creative writing. And I have no idea what I want to do.

I have so many interests, so many passions. How can I choose which one is more important than the other? Decision paralysis has me in a chokehold.

I’m skilled in a lot of areas. Is it a waste of talent to only pursue one field?

If I work as a bank teller, what about my voice and my love of singing?

If I spend my time managing social media for a business, what about my love of theatre? Am I wasting my acting talent?

If I am a receptionist or an admin assistant, what about my writing?

How can I choose which passion is more important? How can I be okay with setting the others aside? How can I doom myself to do only one thing for the rest of my life?

In his book, I Still Want To Be An Astronaut, sketch comedian James Perry shares how he stumbled across his purpose, and his revolution rocked my world.

Don’t assume you need to find your one true purpose in life and work only toward that one thing before you can do what you were meant to do. You are alive today, so you have purpose today. I believe any real method for finding purpose should give you immediate purpose, even if it’s on your way to finding future purposes. That’s right, purposes, with an s. That’s a big change I want you to make in your mind.

Woah, wait. Slow down.

I don’t have a purpose, I have multiple?

This concept completely flipped how I was viewing my current situation.

What if there were no bad pursuits? What if those experiences were just stops along the way to finding a different purpose?

What if every day I had a new purpose?

I think the main reason I am afraid to make a decision is because I’m afraid of making the wrong decision.

But I’m realizing that these decisions aren’t permanent, and not nearly as important as I think they are.

I’m not doomed to do that one thing for the rest of my life. I can leave if I feel like I need to.

And, best of all, it is a stepping stone. It’ll be an opportunity that I can learn from and grow in.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll discover a passion I didn’t know I had.

Though I am still a bit envious of those who have known since age four what they wanted to do, I understand that all of my interests and passions are not in competition with one another. They simply exist alongside one another, collaborating to help me be my true self.

Sure, sometimes one passion may shine a little brighter. But, again, it is only temporary.

And so what if I do make a “wrong” decision? I am not doomed. I have not thrown my entire life away.

My God is much bigger than my decisions. I do not know His plan for me yet, but I do know that I am not nearly powerful enough to screw it up, and that is incredibly encouraging.

Have you struggled to narrow down your purpose in life?

How might the concept of multiple purposes change your perspective?


*Page 13, I Still Want To Be An Astronaut

For anyone interested in more of James’ work, you can find his book here (I highly recommend!) and his TED talk here (basically the TL;DR of the book).


2 thoughts on “What the Heck Am I Supposed to do?

  1. Pingback: I Wanna be Uncomfortable! – Actually Adulting

  2. Pingback: To-do or not to-do? – Actually Adulting

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