In general, I’m the kind of person that, once I know what I want, pursues it wholeheartedly. I see my destination and nothing stands in my way. Perfection is an impossibility and failure is inevitable–bearing this in mind, I push forward towards my goals. This mindset has led to participating in the Minnesota State Speech tournament in high school, becoming part of Program Staff at camp, spending a semester studying abroad, and graduating college with top grades. Once I know what I want, I form a strategy. Step by step, I find a way.
But what happens when I don’t know what I want?
How do I push forward if I don’t know the direction? People from all sides, from family members to strangers, are bombarding me with questions. “Where are you going, Amelia? How will you get there?”
To the world, I must look incredibly foolish. Here I am, a twenty-something college grad living at home with no notion of where I actually want to go in life. To cope with the unknown, I’ve resigned to taking things one step at a time. I take the opportunities before me and hope that they lead me where I’m supposed to go.
A lot of my perspective on my future has to do with my faith. I feel like God is deliberately keeping me in the dark. I know that He has a plan for my life that is better than anything I can come up with on my own. I want to pursue that. When it comes down to it, I DO know what I want out of life. I want my purpose and reason for living to be for God. I have inklings of what I think He wants me to do. I feel like God wants me to return to Europe–it’s always there, nagging at the back of my mind. I also feel like God wants me to write. But what does that look like? Where in Europe should I go? What should I do there? How will I get there? What should I write?
How do I pursue the unarticulated passions of my spirit and meet social expectations? How do I balance blind faith with the pressures of stepping into full-fledged adulthood? How do I move forward if I don’t know what I want?
I’m making this up one step at a time. I’ve got two jobs right now. Both will be done by Christmas. Once Christmas has passed, I’m attending Urbana, the largest student missions conference in the world. After that… Who knows? Maybe, at the conference, my passions will finally be articulated and I’ll have a clear path. Maybe I’ll find a missions organization to partner with and be on my way to wherever I’m supposed to go. Maybe nothing will happen at all and I’ll find a full-time job and move to the cities.
I hate, hate, hate appearing foolish. I hate the disapproval that comes from not having it figured out. I hate that I know my extended family has conversations about what a hopeless floater I am behind my back. The other day, my mom said something to me to the effect of, “Amelia, it’s really hard on us to see you like this.” To which I responded, “It’s hard for you? Try being stuck here.”
I know there will come a time when the pieces will align. I know that I’ll end up somewhere. Some days, I’m really positive and optimistic about the future. Today isn’t really one of those days. Moving forward is hard when I don’t know when I want to go. For the time being, I suppose all I really can do is ignore the pressure and step blindly in a direction.
I’ve asked a lot of questions in this post that I don’t have answers to. But they’re questions that need to be asked. These things need to be articulated. In an earlier paragraph, I stated that I feel like God wants me to write. What does He want me to write about? My answer: THIS. I need to put my frustrations into words. Maybe, as the unknowns solidify into nouns and verbs, I’ll find that my passions are finally articulated. Maybe, through the act of writing, my destination will present itself. I’ll continue to write until I find out.