May is here, and I’m overcome with the fear of the unknown and a nostalgia for my childhood.
This feeling is a year-round thing; it isn’t May-specific, as if it decided to camp out inside me because the weather has been lovely in my part of the world. However, I feel the full brunt around this time of the year.
I blame it on my birthday (and partly on “It’s Gonna Be May” meme for making me nostalgic).
My birthday falls in May. Like any person, I have a love and dislike for my birthday. The awesomeness of it is that I get to celebrate with my loved ones and friends. (And sometimes, I get awesome presents.) At the same time, I’m growing older, which isn’t bad, but it makes me wonder and reflect on what I’ve done in my life. I’m in my 20s, and I feel I have yet to accomplish something truly worthwhile. I want to make an impact in people’s lives. I guess you can say that building and growing this blog is something I should feel good about—I do! I am exceptionally proud of everything I’ve accomplished with The Novel Hermit. But what else? There has to be something more than this! Right?
Growing up, I had dreams of being a tap dancer (I took no tap dancing classes, but thought tapping my feet would be easy); a soccer player (I was decent at kicking a ball until I realized there were better players); mathematician (I was exceptional at math in elementary school, but realized I was not when I entered sixth grade); a photographer (it seemed cool, but I was a self-conscious picture-taker); and a professional storyteller (I had a great imagination). I was always going to be a writer, but I became enamored with editing and made steps towards that dream of working in a publishing house. However, in the past year, that dream had disintegrated, and I’m actually okay with that. But now what? Where do I go from here?
The unknown is a funny thing; I can do anything, but I feel like I’m walking aimlessly through a desolate town, looking for any form of life to tell me what to do. I’m turning however-many-years-old, what do I do now?!
A friend had described this aimless feeling as if you’re on a train, watching everyone get off at various stops (who know exactly where they’re going), but here you are, still on the train, unsure of whether you should get off or stay on. That’s an imagery that I’m all too familiar with.
I yearn for those years when I didn’t have to worry about adult responsibilities, when all I had to worry about was what to wear to school or if I had done last night’s homework. (Where were you when I needed you, Peter Pan?!)
It’s normal to fear the unknown and growing older and feeling that aimlessness. It’s just something you deal with, and I don’t think it’s something that could ever be solved long-term. It just is.
Dana @ The Nerdy Journalist says
The unknown kinda freaks me out, too. I’m the type of person who likes to set goals and know exactly how to reach those goals, I’m a huge planner. I have a plan a, b, and c just in case something doesn’t happen one way. The school year is wrapping up (thankfully), and I’m suddenly faced with the fact I have one year until graduation, until college, until independent life. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.
Jessica Samuelsen says
This may happen a few more times in your life… You will figure it out!
I’ve been feeling that way since last year, also the reason I left my job with an excuse that I’m focusing on my studies. But honestly, I felt stuck and wanted a change, a change of any kind. I thought if I take enough turns, I’ll reach a good place all in good time, right? So I’m learning to embrace not knowing ALL THE THINGS! However, I have a mild anxiety problem so I’m easily set off when someone asks me The Question: “What do you plan to do after graduation?” I usually answer with a silence that freezes the room a little and the other person promptly changes the topic, lol. But honestly, I don’t know and I think that’s alright for me right now.
Nova @ Out of Time says
I think this when I think about my future. Right now, I know I still have a lot of time, but that won’t last forever and I’m afraid to be forty and not done anything with my life. So I guess it’s just about enjoying it. I wouldn’t mind not discovering the cure to cancer if what i’d been doing is having an amazing time with life, surrounded by people I love. Success and making an impact on the world is awesome but making an impact on the people I love/care about sounds like a good way to go too.
Paula Stokes says
I always envied those people with direction, people who graduated from high school, went to college and studied [x], got a job in [x], got promoted to an [x] management position, and were somehow happy (satisfied?) doing [x]. I’ve never been one of those people. I’ve studied like 6 different things in college, held down over twelve different jobs, and I’m still on that train, Cee. Of course I want to get off at the author stop, but like most midlist authors, I live in fear of the day the train cruises right by that stop without even slowing down so I can hop off Dauntless-style.
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m a lot older than you, but I feel you <3 Happy birthday! :)
Jen @ YA Romantics says
I agree with Paula. Even when you have a plan, sometimes things don’t turn out as you expect. And I also agree with Nova: sometimes life is in the journey, not the destination. The unknown is scary, but I think there are also exciting things out there as well.
Jen at YA Romantics
“So many voices ringing in my ear
Which is the voice that I was meant to hear?
How will I know?
Where do I go from here?”
Is the first thing I started to sing when I read the title :p
I feel sometimes a little disappointed by how little I have achieved in my life, but when I look back at all the things I DID achieve I’m quite happy with how far I’ve come.. So sometimes it’s a very strange feeling. I kind of go with the flow and see where it takes me now. I have a destination and I have many plans in the future; I can only hope I can do everything, but I’ll definitely try my best :)
Being an adult is scary.
Alexa S. says
Oh, I most definitely feel that way! Even though there are certainly “stops” in my life that I’m quite happy about, in terms of career and contribution to the world, I’m still stuck on that train, to borrow your analogy. It’s the scariest thing to have to decide, but it’s also scary to stay on board and not do anything – and it often messes with my brain and emotions. Still, I suppose that’s what life is, right? Messy and complicated and filled with choices you’ve got to make. Here’s to hoping we find our respective ways!
Jess @My Reading Dress says
I’m so with you, Cee. I honestly have no idea where I go from here. I mean, I have my blog, I have my degree that I’m working on finishing. But from there on out, what do I really am to achieve? And will I blog forever? After this, what other hobby do I have? HOW WILL I PASS MY TIME? Will I just aimlessly walk around, eat and go shopping??? AM I DESTINED FOR THAT? I used to classically train in piano and voice but none of that made me happy. What I’m doing now sates my desire for creativity but I’m scared, like all things, that this will end. And I want to know what’s out there afterwards. Shame that I’m not psychic (although perhaps I’m better off not being so). I wish I was the chosen one in some story or something because I feel like I’d have more of a purpose, and then a story to tell and some hunk to love (LOL I KID WITH THE LAST BIT)