Are there people around you who behave in a way, like as if they have already figured everything out?
Your parents were used to be like that in your head. Maybe. Until one day you realise that they are far from super smart and wise than you thought. Or some older and more sophisticated friends. They are usually those who you look up to, who seem like having peaceful and balanced lives, and always give you good advice to deal with stuff in a “grownup” way, since you are the little kid who gets lost easily.
Like my friend, Nile.
Nile is about my parents’ age. But since we both like to talk about everything in the world, we became friends very naturally. Happily married with two children, he’s sportive, healthy, good with people, and has an open mind to the world. Preciously, he also has a very critical mind. I’m still suffering from my quarter-life crisis. For me, he seems to be one of those people who already have answers to everything in life.
One day, I turned to him with my career choice problem.
“Nile, I’m stuck now… I’m supposed to apply for a well-paid company job… it’s good for my CV. But I don’t know if I really want that in my life right now. I’m still young, fresh-grad from university. I need to travel and experience the outside world more, before everything else drags me back. Thinking about all this is definitely not good for my job-search. I’m just not motivated anymore…”
“When I was young, like you, I got a permanent position offer at a huge multinational corporate. But I turned it down. The reason was that I also got a chance to teach English in Norway for a year. It was perfect. Because it was a foreign land for me and it’s also temporary. I felt that one-year delay from the “grown-up” working life would be exactly what I needed at that stage of my life. Then when I was in Norway, I got to meet my wife… I had no idea what was gonna happen, just felt at that moment that it was right, without thinking much about what was going to come next. It obviously turned out great for me.
“I’m not telling you what to do. I can’t. I can only say for my own life and not for yours. I’m just telling you, that it is useless to think too much about the possibilities in the future. We cannot calculate every step we take and always precisely land at the destination on which we set our eyes in the past. Living a life is not like playing chess. It’s much more complicated and without the ultimate result of winning or losing.”
Indeed. How can we even start predicting our own future? Great prophets in the world history were either spoken to by God, or the greatest scholars. But they never predicted any individual’s future. Even fortune-tellers do not tell your fortune by calculation.
Planning is such a “grownup” thing. Kids never plan. But “making a plan” is almost the first thing we learn from our parents in order to “grow up”. Because we can feel naturally, so the only thing we learn is to think. “Thinking ahead” is planning. It’s good for us, most of the time. But when it’s crucial to feel first, we should try to delay the thinking mode. Feeling gives the general direction, planning (calculation) is in charge of the specific steps in that direction.
“Find the balance. Balance is always the key.” Nile said.
30 Days Writing Challenge – Day 10