In the past year I have started and stopped 4 new books. One of them I began was a book called "I just googled what to do with my life" I am still working on it. I thought you might enjoy an excerpt today...
I just googled “What am I supposed to do with my life?”.
I'm not even sure what my dreams are anymore? I am seriously questioning if I ever loved dancing-I think I might have just been in love with the music I got to dance to. I loved writing until I realized that most of the time people just want you to write for free, and that writing is actually a hobby. Like doing crafts, or going for bike rides.
I had known from a very young age what I wanted to be when I grew up. In 5th grade I can vividly remember spending an entire week in health class filling out paperwork and using my number 10 lead pencil to make teenie-tiny dash marks on a reciept shaped paper. I answered questions like “do you prefer to work alone or in groups?” my choices were some of the time, all of the time or never. Next question, “I enjoy problem solving” some of the time, always, never. I was deeply convinced that at the end of all of these questions that my teacher would wisk my paper away and run it through that insane automatic marking machine in the office and would come back and announce to not only me, but to my entire 5th grade class that while Andy was most suited to being a firefighter and Jill was going to be a nurse, that this test had proved without a doubt that the only job meant for me was, superstar.
Over my years growing up my intention to my future calling never got any better. In 11th grade when I was failing algebra and had to get a twice a week math tutor, I announced at the top of my lungs to my entire class, that math was stupid and that I was never going to need to use the pythagoram therom because when I was a star I would just hire someone to use the pythagram therom for me, if I ever needed it, which I wouldn’t because no one actually uses the pythagorean theorem.
So, I never made a back up plan. Back up plans were for people who were going to fail. Back up plans were for people who were not going to be stars. Back up plans were for people who in the deepest part of there guts, hiding in a teenie tiny little corner was the littlest hint of doubt that they had what it took to make it. I had no doubt. I had no back up plan. I was going to be a star.
Fast forward. In 6 months I will turn 30. I am alternating acne cream and wrinkle cream nightly. I found my first grey hair. I’ve had botox. I am driving a 1999 black honda crv. I rent. I don’t have health insurance. I don’t have a real career. I don’t have a college degree. I don’t have a back up plan.
Last night I googled “what am I supposed to do with my life?”
The first thing that comes up when I asked google what to do with my life was a online survey that promised to help me discover my life purpose in just 20 minutes. I had spent most of the weekend laying in my bed alternating between eating ruffles potato chips and diet coke convinced that I would never find my calling in life, and now in just 20 minutes I was going to have it all figured out. Why hadn’t I thought to google this all along!
I started reading and was instantly confused...
“How do you discover your real purpose in life? I’m not talking about your job, your daily responsibilities, or even your long-term goals. I mean the real reason why you’re here at all — the very reason you exist.”
Honestly, I’ve watched enough si-fi movies to come to the conclusion that we are alll on earth because of some giant rock/sun collision and some other things happened and that aliens, other life with weird facial features and time traveling all exist. I really don't care about why the world turns. I wake up. there is light. I go to sleep. There is a moon. Things grow. I eat things that grow. When there are clouds sometimes it rains. I know all of this happens, but I don't really care why. I think many people might be with me when I say I want to know what to do with my life, I actually mean MY JOB, MY RESPONSIBILITES AND MY LONG TERM GOALS. Hey hippies! its fine and dandy to think that life “isn’t about those things” but I have a cell phone bill and a landlord who would beg to differ. This isn’t looking good. 18 minutes left.
Next is a story about Bruce Lee. I always had an inkling that kung-fo had something to do with my life but I never knew why. Was I meant to be a kung-fu master?
“Here’s a story about Bruce Lee which sets the stage for this little exercise. A master martial artist asked Bruce to teach him everything Bruce knew about martial arts. Bruce held up two cups, both filled with liquid. “The first cup,” said Bruce, “represents all of your knowledge about martial arts. The second cup represents all of my knowledge about martial arts. If you want to fill your cup with my knowledge, you must first empty your cup of your knowledge.”
First of all, I have no idea what this means.
Second of all, the only thing I want to fill my cup with is white wine.
If you want to discover your true purpose in life, you must first empty your mind of all the false purposes you’ve been taught (including the idea that you may have no purpose at all).
Okay. A little homework I like that. I have to empty my mind of all the false purposes I have been taught.
I begin to construct the false purposes I have been taught:
-to be a star.
-to wear short skirts and have construction workers cat call at me.
-to be the best and the prettiest.
-to make tons of money for just being myself.
-to walk down red carpets
-to have a giant house with an infinity pool.
-to have 100,000 twitter followers.
They give me directions:
Here’s what to do:
1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type (I prefer the latter because it’s faster).
2. Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”
3. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.
4. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.
I take out my paper.
WHAT IS MY TRUE PURPOSE IN LIFE:
to be a dog walker
to be a waitress
to be ...
I sat for 55 minutes. I tried really hard. I thought of all of the things I could do with my life that might work with my skill set. None of them made me cry, except the realization that I couldn’t write down to be a star.