When I was young, it seemed the path of life was straight forward – graduate high school, graduate college, get a great paying job, get married, have a family and wait for your children to repeat the process. I remember always having a plan A to Z and contingencies for each of them. Unfortunately, no one warned me against this awkward stage in life where I am finding out that what I thought I wanted, no longer holds truth. All of a sudden, I feel like I have no direction and uncomfortable taking the next step because I have no game plan.
It’s kinda crazy to think that most of my choices have been influenced by family and friends until about 2 years ago. At the age of 20, I completed my bachelors degree in engineering. Following a couple failed attempts to getting into the professional school of my choice, I settled with joining the workforce. Plus, it seemed like 90% of my graduating class was doing the same, so I felt less guilty in my decision. Fast forward, three months later, I somehow found myself in a totally different city as a project engineer with so much responsibility I could barely handle – and totally unprepared for corporate America. Once the excitement of being a working engineer wore off, the reality that I will work a 9a – 5p till I’m 67, frightened me (Chai! God forbid!). I began to ask myself, “IJ, what are you doing with your life?” “God, I know this CAN’T be it!”
Funny enough, on the surface, it seemed like I had it all figured out; and to some people, I was “successful” – well, it didn’t feel that way. I was too afraid to admit to myself that I didn’t have it figured out. I mean, I knew that no one has it figured out, even the most successful individuals, but there was always a small voice that told me “Girl, how long will it take you to figure it out?”
So let me share with you how I continue to live my life being OKAY with not having things figured out.
Trust in God and Go With The Flow
Since I moved to the Midwest, I began my journey to establish a personal relationship with God and understand who I am in Him. One of the most important lessons I have learned is to trust in Him. I know this sounds so cliché but I realized what the true meaning of trusting Him meant – total submission and surrender. Allowing myself to trust Him and following the small still voice, has reduced the stress of not having a game plan. For once, I allowed myself to be led by Him and that’s how Ivery Arie was born.
Ask Yourself the Daunting Questions
I had to keep it 100% with myself. I had to ask myself” “Who Am I?”, “What are my insecurities?” “What are my intentions?” “What are my true talents?” “What are my desires and what brings me happiness?” The answer to these questions, help me understand myself on a deeper level.
Embrace all experiences – both positive and not so positive ones
We have all heard the phrase, “you don’t know, what you don’t know.” Take on a new project – something you have not been comfortable doing before. Being open minded to things during this stage was important for me because I discovered things about myself I didn’t know about until I participated in these activities.
So next time you try to beat yourself up for not having things figured out, practice a couple of these steps and remind yourself that it is OKAY!