My first solo post on the new blog and I wanted to start off with this awesome and completely over saturated drone picture that I took out at Lake Shawnee. Yes, I cranked that saturation UP. And yes, I was singing ‘Crank That’ by Soulja Boy while I did it. “Catch me at your local party, I Crank Saturation everyday”
Now is the part where you judge me for thinking of that song. BUT GUESS WHAT?! IT WAS A JUDGEMENT TRAP! because I know the last wedding you were at you “Leaned to the left and cranked that thing back” just like the rest of us!
Anyway…onto the real post…
I have been asking a lot of questions lately about my life and it has been eye opening to say the least. It is crazy how God speaks/reveals things and then you give yourself credit for those ideas. I have found that when asking questions like: What makes me happy? Am I content? Am I where I want to be? What do I want for my future? Only ONE thing has become abundantly clear: I don’t even know what questions to ask.
Thats a tough reality. It’s like I am trying to win a race, but instead of taking strides towards the finish…I am sitting on the couch asking God what a race is.
So what do I do now? Up until a couple of days ago, that was the closest I had gotten to a good question.
I decided that I would intake information, let it stew and see what I can sift out of it. I finished a book, listened to some podcasts, had good conversations with Katie and others. Then I let things sit for a while.
Let me start at the beginning and give a little context to the “What do I want in Life” dilemma…
Think back to when you were 5 years old. What were your dreams? Astronaut? The guy who cures cancer? Miss America? Trashman? (what 5 year old boy doesn’t want to ride on the back of a trash truck for a living…seriously)
Then you start school. You start getting graded and your intelligence/ability is evaluated by someone other than your adoring parents. You find out that there is someone faster, someone smarter, someone funnier, someone taller, someone better looking, etc. Ouch.
Next you graduate high school and for this example we will say you go to college. Every person asks the same question. What are you going to major in? What they are really asking is “what do you think you are better at than most people, and would enjoy doing for the rest of your life?” I hated that thought.
But inevitably you can’t take Gen-Ed classes forever, so you pick a major. Let’s say engineering because you are good at math and science. So you go to classes for four years and again figure out that while you are better than some at math and science you are NOT better than your classmates. They are all just as good or better.
Then you graduate and try to beg/plead/cheat/claw your way into the all important first job. The whole application process you are thinking about the fact that your entire life you have been mired in mediocrity. Even your so called strengths are relatively weak next to that one guy you know. And in the off chance you are the best at something, you probably perceive that skill as worthless.
Astronaut? Not Strong enough. Miss America? Not good looking enough. The person who cures cancer? Not smart enough. Trashman? Ok..still a good option.
Pretty depressing right?
I don’t know a single person that got their dream life the day after college. So what gives? I did what I was supposed to do. Tried in school, got good grades, got a degree, got a job, found a beautiful wife, got a terrible dog. I have checked all the boxes so what the heck is next?!
The obvious answer is: your dream life. That is what’s next. That was always the goal right? Be happy/content, right? But…I am not smart/strong/good looking enough for the obvious seemingly dream life options (ben and jerry ice cream tester, batman). So how do I get there? What am I missing? What dot have I not connected? Is this it? I just can’t have those things?
A couple of things have become clear to me since college. The idea of a dream life is a little bit of a falsity. There is no perfect life. Sorry kids. I am sure even the Ben & Jerry’s guy has piles of paperwork and FDA rules to follow. And we all know batman had to deal with Bane and the Joker.
The second thing (and the one I want to focus on) is that we are falsely disqualifying ourselves for things every day. I want you to think about every time you have said ” I could never..” or “I am not ___ enough for…” and then ask the question “SAYS WHO?!?!?!” You could never be an astronaut because your physics teacher told you that you didn’t get it? Guess what…that physics teacher has NO IDEA what being an astronaut consists of. You can’t move to Hawaii because your neighbor knows that it is expensive? Guess what…your neighbor lives in the midwest and has no idea.
What I am getting at is the question that I finally landed on after all this…
Why not me?
What an empowering question! “Why not?” You can answer that without having to answer, “how?” or “when?”
Why not me? Well the answer to a lot of things is…I don’t really want that. No one has ever jumped off the empire state building and survived. Why not me? I don’t really want to do that. Like at all. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be able to travel the world and work for myself. Why not me? I would miss my friends and family.
That’s ok! It is ok to not want things!
Just don’t go through life not knowing what you want. Ask the question “why not?” Then answer that question!
If you are lucky you might find there is something you really want to do that you have never done…and there is no good reason not to! Wouldn’t that be the best news ever?!