30 Jul '18 — if only I knew
What do I want to do with my life? Who do I want to be?
These questions seem important. But the strange thing is I’m already doing and I’m already being.
When asking these questions as a person who is doing (breathing, eating, typing) and being (alive), I’m looking to match a concept of myself with a persona that exists.
‘Astronaut’, ‘popular’, ‘startup CEO’–these are concepts of being that are well developed. An astronaut is someone who is smarter than most and they’ve had the rare opportunity to travel to a place most haven’t. There’s a lot of cache involved in that persona. When asking ‘What do I want to do with my life?’ I’m asking to be bucketed into an existing concept. Of course, the concept better be admirable!
The first social media stars couldn’t have felt like they were doing or being anything until the idea of social media stars was introduced. Now they’re definitely doing something and being someone.
You can do and be things that are uncharacteristic of any personas that exist. Your doings or your ways of being may never be introduced to the shared consciousness.
It’s unsettling to be undefined. People can’t draw conclusions on who you are or what you’re capable of. You’re never as impressionable as the ones who’s being and doings have been repeatedly glorified.
But by being [nothing] you have even freedom to be and do as you please.
Upon entering into defined doing and being, there are expectations that need to be met to keep that definition–perhaps pressure to dress a certain way, like certain things, work a particular method. These limitations add up but it comes in exchange for the settling feeling of having a place in this world.
People are naturally undefined. Unable to grasp a world in flux, humans want to anchor on ideas–have a grasp of why we’re here and what we’re meant to do.
But that doesn’t make it less real that we’re perhaps not here to do anything or be defined. Being someone and doing something may provide a little pain relief but it’ll never take away from the unstable nature of existing in this world.
These questions seem to promise a grounded state of being. ‘If only I knew what I wanted to do with my life and who I wanted to be…’ I can finally start living.