Tuesday, February 5, 2013

bring it on

There is a poem by Shel Silverstein that is stuck in my head like a bad 90s pop song and no matter how hard I try to ignore it, the lyrics just keep rolling around in my brain. 

When the light turns green you go.
When the light turns red you stop.
But what do you do 
When the light turns blue
With orange and lavender spots?

And let me tell you something, my light is definitely blue with the most orange and lavender spots one can imagine. 

There are no right answers, only choices. There is not a right choice and a wrong choice, but instead there is this choice or maybe that one instead. And no one can tell you which one to choose. I mean, it's not like you want everyone to boss you around - it's time to take charge! Be an adult! Do stuff and things and stomp around in your mismatched polka dotted socks like you own the place. 

But at the exact same time, people telling you what to do is a comfort. It's a safety blanket from when you were two years old, Linus, and you couldn't go anywhere without that fuzzy blue square cut cloth dragging on the ground behind you. Besides, if you do what someone else tells you to do and it doesn't work out, you can always fall back on the blame game. Point that finger and mean it!

The trouble with living life by everyone else's rules and ideas is that it's unsatisfying. Eventually you will be most displeased to discover that you have not done what you wanted to do, but instead what you thought everyone else wanted you to do and you end up crying into your biscuits and gravy wishing you could relive your life. 

Being in your 20s is totally hard to navigate. And it's even harder if you've never watched an older sibling go through it first. Here you are, machete in hand, hacking down all these branches and leaves to forge a path, having no idea if you're even headed in the right direction. Constantly looking for approval with big doe-eyes in a way that says "Help! Am I doing this right?" and that is scary. I mean, what if you're headed straight for a swamp? Shouldn't someone tell you? 

Except that no one can. 

And that's terrifying. Petrifying. It turns your stomach in knots and then you can't eat or sleep and you get a little overwhelmed and feel like maybe you're dying. It's not that you're not successful in your life after college, it's not even like you have failed miserably in any direction. Although, maybe you have. Everyone's got secrets. But it's not the end of the world, that was in December...and we all lived.

It's just simply that there are many different roads you could take and it's having to figure out which one is the perfect one for you that is the scariest. Because, hello? What if you take the wrong way and get lost and miss out on incredible opportunities? That is a risk you are just going to have to be willing to take - because if you just ball up and don't make any choices then you end up no where.

Mom and Dad can't tell you what to do forever, although part of them would like to do that. They want to protect you and keep you safe and never see you make any mistakes or disappoint them in any way. But the cold hard truth is that this is going to happen. You are a human and by nature you are flawed. You are also not a psychic and the future is always going to be blurry and somewhat grey. 

So here you are, standing at a cross roads and one is not better than the other, but merely different. And everyone can give you all the advice in the world, but ultimately you have to be the one to decide which direction you are going to take. What is your next move? 

Don't take something just because it's in front of you. Don't listen to someone just because their voice is in your ear. Ask questions. Listen to what people have to say. Pray about it. Then make your decision. There are no right answers and mistakes are not the worst thing in the world. If you never make a mistake you will never grow and if you never grow then you will never do anything important and that's when you end up a 40 year old man living in his parents' basement with only your video games and a very sad cat for company. 

Nobody wants to be that guy. 

I can't pretend to have it all figured out, especially because I'm fairly certain that I'm holding my map upside down and reading the user's manual backwards. However, I do know that I'm going to fail. I'm going to screw up and miss out on things. I also know that I am going to have incredible opportunities no matter what road I'm on. It's just making the decision and plunging into icy cold water headfirst, fearless, that's going to be the truly inspiring part. 

1 comment:

  1. You jump, I jump, Jack. I have no idea why that popped into my head just now, but it fits.

    We both need to jump with a blind faith it'll work out. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...