What do I really want to do with my life?
I’ve been on a holiday to a Christian camp with my Mum and sister this week – they wanted to go and I went along.
Me and my friend ended up meeting a couple of guys from Lowestoft, nothing like that. Just two nice guys about the same age as us. We got talking.
I never name anyone, but they were J and E.
J and I got talking about travelling, speaking about the places I’d been and what they were like. We talked about going to Fiji, about travelling to Namibia.
And E pointed out that the average age for a person is 80. Therefore at 20 years old you have lived a quarter of your life.
I was the oldest, and at 23 this freaked the fuck out of me. Like, I literally wanted to cry for a second.
Life is so short, we have so little time on this planet.
And how much time do we waste? On so many unimportant, wasteful things. Like arguments, crying, being angry or upset or bitter, how much time do we spend feeling negative? How much time do we spend being nasty or vindictive or selfish?
I’m a realist, and I’m self-analytical, I know I am as guilty as the next person (if not more so) of the above.
Do I want this to be my life?
If I’ve lived over a quarter of my life, when I look back…..am I proud of it? Have I done things I shouldn’t have? Agreed, nobody is perfect. And would life be boring if we were?
But not all of our actions can be put down to naivety or youthful inexperience. Some things are just us, as humans, fucking up. When we shouldn’t have.
So what do I want to do with my life?
For a start I want to stop the above. As much as possible.
I want to stop obssessing over boys and relationships. I want to travel more. I’m not afraid to do it by myself. Of course I’d like to meet the love of my life and have adventures together and see the world and do incredible things and make the most amazing memories. But if I wait for that, how long will I be waiting?
There’s a story.
There was once a town where there was a great flood. People rushed to high ground, tall buildings. Some people climbed on to the roofs of their houses.
One man in particular did just this. And he started to pray. He prayed to be saved from the flood.
A few minutes later along came a man in a boat. He said to the man on the roof: “Get in my boat, we can paddle to safety together.” The man on the roof said: “Thank you but no, God is going to save me.”
And again the man on the roof prayed to God, to be saved from the flood.
A few minutes later along came a bigger boat, with more people. The people on the boat said to the man on the roof: “Get in our boat, we will help you. The water is still rising and you will not be safe.” The man on the roof said: “Thank you but no, God is going to save me.”
The flood water continued to rise and the man on the roof was becoming very scared. And once again the man on the roof prayed to God, to be saved from the flood.
A few minutes later a helicopter appeared in the sky. A man leaned out of the helicopter and threw down a rope. He shouted to the man on the roof: “Here, grab this rope and we will pull you up. Let us help you, for you are not safe.” The man on the roof refused to grab the rope and he said to the man in the helicopter: “Thank you but no, God is going to save me.”
The flood water continued to rise and eventually the man drowned.
When he got to heaven, the man said to God: “Lord, I prayed for your help. I prayed for you to come and save me. Why did you ignore me?” And God said to the man: “My son, I sent a man in a boat, then a group of people in a boat, then a helicopter. But you refused all of my help.”
What do I take from this story in relation to my own life? That if you become too fixed on one idea, on one set plan, then you could miss out on so much else that could have been what was actually destined for you.
If I wait around for the love of my life to whisk me off my feet and fulfil dreams of a life filled with love and travel and adventures, and then it never happens, then what do I do?
I will have wasted who knows how many years and missed who knows how many opportunities. That’s how you waste your life.
And it’s not a GCSE History exam; you can’t resit. You just have to accept that you’re old and have done none of the things you wanted to do with your life. Because you spent your life waiting.
I think it’s a common fear; that your life will not be what you want, that for whatever reason you won’t be able to fulfil your dreams.
How do we, as people, learn to become more flexible?