Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I was never one of those people who had a life plan. As a kid, I could never envision what path my life would take. Actually, that's not entirely true; when I was an angsty teenager, I knew that I wanted to leave Napanee as soon as possible (and I did, right after graduating high school). However, I never had any overwhelming ambitions to be well, anything - apart from interesting and fabulous, of course. I suppose I had fantasised about living in New York City and being a struggling artist/actor/screenwriter of sorts. Being a Canadian, of course, I had to settle for Toronto.

I clearly remember sitting in Grade 10 history class one day and casually chatting to Jennifer Jonkers (I wonder what became of her?) when she proclaimed that she couldn't wait to get married and have a family. I was astonished - I had never experienced such intense aspirations, whether it being getting married (to who, it didn't matter clearly), settling down or just moving to Toronto to piss about. Then again, Jennifer Jonkers belonged to the 4-H club (I have no idea what that involved but I like to imagine it had something to do with milking cows). I always sort of thought that I would just wake up one day and realise that I had wanted to be a lawyer all along, like most liberal art students (FYI: I got into law school; it's kinda soulless).

However, here I am - 32 years of age - and I still have no idea what I want to do, where I want to go in life and what I want to be (apart from a decent person - hey, it's a legitimate goal!) And although I could never have imagined that I'd be living in Scotland (fucking Europe, y'all!), I can't imagine living anywhere else. But that's about all I can imagine; does that make me directionless or just laid-back?


David T. Macknet said...

Neither directionless nor laid back, really: you're headed in a direction, you just don't know the end point. And, really, when's the last time someone accused you of being laid back?

I've had many directions in my life, now I have another few possibilities, but I wouldn't say that I could predict where it'll all end up. In the meanwhile, I'll try to live well and be a decent person. So.

Perhaps "being a decent person" is the endpoint?

Jennifer said...

Good point re: laid back. And a very well-said comment. thanks.

Danielle said...

I would say this: first off, being laid back is not such a bad thing. And second, not having a straight direction at the moment just means that your still learning and open to discovering new expereinces, places, people, ect.

I can't tell you the number of people I've met who are your age who are so stuck in their work or their lives that they have stopped learning and discovering, or believe that there is nothing else out there. I sure don't get that sense from you, and that's a good thing!

Just look at it this way for now- the world and all it's possibilities are open to you, just reamin open to them!

George said...

Have you seen Conan O'Brien's Dartmouth speech? It's very apt, in particular the part about thinking you know what you want, and your dreams and goals changing. It's good advice for anyone, let alone graduates.


For what it's worth I'm in much the same place as you. I wouldn't worry about it. Just, in the words of Bill & Ted, 'Be excellent to each other'.

Jennifer said...

Danielle - I certainly don't feel "stuck". Indeed, I think I did when I was in Toronto, and dreaded a lifetime of it so packed my shit up and moved to Scotland. I suppose I'm guilty of navel-gazing because my friends are marrying off and I was sort of hoping I would suddenly be struck with a sense of "What I Need to do in Life". If that makes sense?

George - I did see that commencement speech; it's fucking great. He's great. And you feeling similiar? It's worth a lot; thanks. Does that mean I can text you when I wake up in cold sweats at 3.00am?

Anonymous said...

I'm married, have two kids and still don't know what I want to do with my life. Don't get me wrong, married life and kids are great but I do feel at times I am missing something. Volunteering might be the thing to get my butt out of my rut I think.

Jessica said...

I'm on the bandwagon, you're neither. You're just an open person who knows that there's more to considering your ultimate 'success' in life other than a fancy job title or a picket fence and 2.4 little ones.

Would I be wrong in guessing you have quite a diverse set of interests and talents? If so, then I'd say you're a 'renaissance person'. (In a time which is sadly, not very much of a renaissance.)