When I was little, I wanted to be a blue dog.
I wanted to be an actress, or a model.
I wanted to be an adventuring archaeologist, like Indiana Jones.
A marine biologist.
People ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
And we take that to mean, “What do you want to do for work/money?”
But who I am and what I aspire to be doesn’t actually have anything to do with the doing.
Even the titles above that denote different types of work – of doing – weren’t things I wanted because I couldn’t wait to do all the related work.
I wanted the experiences.
The experience of bringing characters to life and making a reader feel something.
The experience of fighting for justice and winning.
The experience of discovery.
The experience of being part of something that matters.
I used to envy people who just knew what kind of career they wanted.
I even envied people who had parents that strongly encouraged them down one path or another.
Yeah, I know. But I craved certainty in where I was headed in life and what to do next.
I just wanted an answer. Because liking everything and being good at most things I tried left me totally clueless at a time when I felt I needed a plan.
Eventually, the question became:
What do I like enough to devote loads of time and energy to?
I’d love to tell you that made things *click*, but I still felt pretty clueless.
This rephrasing did change the approach though.
I went from feeling like I needed to know the answer, to understanding I needed more information before I could decide.
I needed to experience a variety of things to, essentially, be able to rank my interest in them.
It became an exploration. A journey of self-discovery.
Eventually, as I evolved, the question evolved, too. I came to understand impermanence, and that even your passion and affinity for something can be impermanent. I started to ask…
[My quest to figure out what I should DO with my life ultimately led me to human design and astrology, which of course, are ultimately about how we’re BEING and who we ARE, and not so much about we’re specifically doing.]
What do I like enough to devote loads of time and energy to right now?
Right now is literally all we have. Finding your passion won’t save you from the truth of impermanence. Passions change. What you care about changes. Your values change.
By now I understand that the only thing I can truly commit to forever is myself and my own personal explorations (of the world, of life, of myself, etc.). What feels good for me in this moment?
I am my compass. I am my guide.
And navigating requires constant check-ins.
I don’t know the 10-years-from-now destination. But I trust my internal guidance system to take me where I need to go.
And when I fully accepted that it wasn’t about where I was headed and what I was going to be doing when I got there, the question became…
Who do I want to be? Who AM I being?
Because if now is really all we have, does it matter so much what I do? Or is the energy I show up with in the world more impactful?