I haven’t been feeling like myself lately.
So of course I had to start writing about it. Because that’s what I’ve trained myself to do. I solve problems through writing, even if I don’t know what they are when I put pen to paper. I lay everything out in front of me, let it all stare back at me. Let it all sink in.
So much has changed.
And I’m the one who’s made it change.
I can’t even blame anyone or anything else on the differences, because it’s all my fault. At least, I couldn’t, if it were like me to put blame on others, to not take responsibility for my own shortcomings.
I’m scared that I’m not setting or working toward the right goals. When 2018 started, I was certain I knew exactly what I wanted, what I was going to accomplish, when I wanted to have it checked off my list.
Now it all just looks like checkboxes that don’t matter anymore.
Almost as if I never wanted any of those things at all, and just told myself I did.
But why? Because that’s what people expect of me? Because it’s what I expect of myself?
I don’t want to stop writing. I’m not leaving my job. I’m not shutting down this blog. I’m not giving up on my dreams of publishing a book, producing an edutainment web series, reading all the books.
I feel like something’s still missing. Or … that I’m missing something.
As if at some point I had a choice between two paths going in opposite directions, but I didn’t know I had a choice, didn’t see the second path, and went in the wrong direction.
If I went the wrong way and didn’t even know it … then what was the right way?
When I try to imagine an alternate future for myself, I can’t. Or I’m too scared to.
My whole life — MY. WHOLE. LIFE. — I have been writing. And I have been a writer. And I have worked so hard to make it my career that IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
Now I wonder.
Is this where I’m supposed to be?
You know what’s funny? When I turned 25 in July 2017, I joked that I’d had my quarter-life crisis at 21, that I was safe, that everything was finally falling into place.
And 11 months later, it feels like it’s all falling apart.
I’m fine. I’m happy. I’m healthy.
But I feel overwhelmed with this unexpected sensation that I’m supposed to be doing something more, or something else, and I’m not.
I’m sure most of you are thinking, “Really? You’re in your 20s. You have so much time to figure this out. You don’t have to worry.”
HAHA. I know!
But I also REFUSE to be the stereotypical millennial who bounces from job to job trying to “find her place” and figure out who she’s supposed to be.
I know who I am. What I care about. What I stand for.
But the career path of a creative mind is not straightforward, predictable, or easy to follow. It’s not supposed to be. That just makes it … tough.
Like, when you study to be a doctor, you know exactly what you need to do to get from pre-med to working as a licensed, practicing physician.
As a writer … you have no freaking idea what you’re doing half the time.
Maybe that’s why we choose this life.
Because there’s mystery here. And sometimes we question whether or not we’re on the right path.
And yet, we keep moving forward. We sift through the doubt. We find the gems of wisdom within. And when we’re done with them, we pass them along, using our words, to those who need them more.
I didn’t expect to come to that ending when I sat down to write a blog post. But there it is.
Find your gems.
Learn from them.
Pass them on.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.