at about this time, I couldn’t figure out what the hell I wanted. I was trapped in the hopeless world of “Supposed To.” I am supposed to be getting a degree in something useful and supposed to be spending my time doing things that are supposed to get me a steady and financially sound career.
I thought I was supposed to be a doctor.
But three years ago, I couldn’t let the chaos and the insincerity of my actions and mindset go on any longer. I felt myself slipping away into what others expected me to be.
So I sat down in my empty apartment having just moved in with my old roommate and wrote a physical list of things I knew about myself. Things I loved and enjoyed, things I knew I was good at, things I always wanted to do. Even really silly things, like how much I loved candles and flowers and making paper cranes in restaurants. I added to it each day. I went looked it over so many times. I kept reminding myself that these were the things that made me who I am. Not school. Not test scores. Not a big fancy job.
I never wanted fame and fortune. I never really dreamed of having a big title with a lot of money. I have no interest in those things. And what’s funny is that a lot of people, my own parents included, think it’s strange that money isn’t my top priority in life. (Although I thankfully have friends who get it.)
Today, I am reminded of how desperately in love I am with literature. I love to read, and I’m happy that I get the chance to read for leisure now. I want to read a lot and I want to read often. There is nothing like finding a book or an author who expresses thoughts and feelings and ideas in the way that connects you. And for that little bit of time where you’re lost in a book, you know that you’re not alone. That this book touched others in a way that touched you and that someone else gets you.
I won’t stop adding to that list. I won’t ever forget it. In times of chaos, it’s important to have something to hold on to.