Since I had three days to kill at The Park, I decided to phone home (like ET). I Skyped with my mom and reported that I’d gone white-water rafting (with the sledging thrown in for free) and skydiving. Her reaction?
“Stop doing crazy things,” she said.
Personally, I don’t think I did anything crazy at all. In fact, I probably put more thought into it than many other things in my life. I weighed the risks against my desire to do them. I assessed the cost (both monetary and personal) and decided to go for it. It was a calculated risk, not a spontaneous action.
On the other hand, my life in the real and everyday world was not like this. At home, I aimlessly pursued jobs that both fit my skill set and would result in some kind of monetary compensation. Each job I took was unique and allowed me to earn slightly more than the last one.
Aside from this, I didn’t put much thought toward a future or career. I didn’t set goals for myself or reflect on my progress each year. As many people do, I simply lived day-to-day without really taking any steps to connect my daily life with the bigger picture. No assessments or cost-benefit analysis was done. I just did it because it’s what everyone else does and is the right thing to do. But, was it the right thing for me?
Now I realize that life doesn’t have to be so serious all the time, and you don’t necessarily need to follow the well-worn path of those before you. You can blaze your own trail and things can still turn out fine in the end. The world isn’t going to stop because you decided to go a different path than the rest of the people you know. In fact, sometimes going it alone is more satisfying than traveling the same path as everyone else.
Funnily enough, this realization hasn’t made life easier. I still don’t know what I want to do, who I want to be or where I want to go. But at least now I’m asking the questions, which is a good start to finding out the answers.