What Do You Do When You Don't Know Where to Go?


This past weekend I’ve gotten to completely 100% do me. I know. Be jealous. My boyfriend is having a guys weekend so I’ve been alone in our apartment, or outside enjoying this amazing East Coast weather, and getting to concentrate solely, selfishly, and absolutely on myself. I’ve spoiled myself with manicures, pedicures, and a massage. I’ve slept in, drank a lot of red wine, and treated myself to some not-so-healthy meals. And in-between all of that I’ve had a lot of time to think. Think about where I am in my life, what do I want, where do I want to go, what do those things mean to me and how do I get there.  

And as we round out the weekend I’m beginning to realize that for the first time in memory, I don’t know.

I have had a road map for my life since I was at least thirteen. I’ve had 3-month, 6-month, 1-year and 5-year plans. I knew what I wanted and I knew what I needed to do in order to get there. Even post college when my plans got severely altered due to a crumbling economy and minimal jobs, I adjusted, re-routed, and made a new plan.

Usually when I get these quiet "me" times I am busy planning and preparing for my next move. But lately, I've been feeling a bit uninspired and somewhat paralyzed by my inability to get motivated and commit to a new goal. This weekend I ended up having nothing to prepare. There were no lists to write, nothing to organize, no choices to decide between.  

And I’ll be honest - it’s been a bit uncomfortable.

I’ve never not had a plan. And being by myself all weekend has made me realize that not only do I not know my next move, but I don’t know what I want out of my life as a whole.

Truthfully, I don’t know if I’ve ever really thought about my life in those terms before- as a whole. Most of my life has been a series of checkboxes and milestones to get through. I think I’ve always assumed that all my planning and accumulation of these checkboxes and metaphorical medals were leading me, and would eventually amount to, what I wanted out of life.

Planning for something you want in life + getting what you planned for = getting what you want in life.

But, I don’t know if that’s how it works. How life works.

Because here’s the thing - I’ve planned for a lot, and I’ve achieved a lot, and yet, I’m still wondering and questioning what I want out of my life, and what will make me happy. What does a happy and fulfilled life look like to me? When will I finally stop looking to the next thing and be content with where I am?

All of my past accomplishments don’t seem to be enough to fulfill me, and they rarely keep me satisfied for long. I've always been about what is next, what's in the future, and how many achievements and experiences I can rack up. In theory, by achieving these things - these things I have planned, gone after, and recieved - I’ve gotten what I want out of life. But if that were the case, wouldn’t I be content? Wouldn't I be fulfilled? Would I still be searching for the next thing? 

So here’s my question - What do you do when you don’t know what you want out of life? What do you do when you aren't sure how to be content where you because you have constantly been looking for what is next?