There’s a saying that goes like: “To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult” (this is a quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). It’s hard to put into so many words what we want, because really we don’t know what that is. I think that it’s pretty easy to forget what we really want when we find ourselves being influenced by others or what others think is the best. Like, society or family.
Take higher education. You graduate from high school and the assumption is that you go on to college/university, which most do. This is all great and wonderful, like you learn new things in college right? Maybe, maybe not. You’re sure as heck not going to know what to do next and probably you will find yourself at some type of crossroads. The crossroads between moving far away from everything you know (that being family) and staying and giving back, plus the option of probably being unemployed. You’ll make it to the end of that line as you stand on the stage at graduation, but once the diploma is with you some months later all shiny and new the magical feeling goes away real quick. Maybe some people go back home and decide to regroup or whatever, while they search for a job (maybe still a little naive that they will find something soon). Others will be in luck and find a job which might not be their dream job but at least its something, so they have no right to complain. And yet, there will be those that want to get away. Anywhere, really. If giving back makes them happy, then they do that but it’s not for everyone. Giving back overseas (somewhere like South America or rural Africa) for aid and help hints at the idea that this particular person might not know what the heck they are doing with their life and they desperately want out, but they want to keep working somehow. I’m describing someone I know, but that’s another story.
So, other people influence us. But, the greatest influence comes from our own minds and we all know that but we cannot take that information and use it to help us. Information can sometimes crowd our brains and we don’t know what to do, so we want to give up. It’s probably a bad idea, but we do it anyway because we think it’s the way to go.
If you happen to be reading this and you’re in college, then know that not knowing is only part of the plan. If you’re undecided or exploratory, then know that no major will probably ever fit you and that’s fine. If you need to travel, then do so. If you need to get away for awhile, then gently tell those around you. You can’t always do everything you want, but if you try you can decide what you think you might want. And that’s close enough sometimes.