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How do you know what you want?

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  • #35383
    Clementine
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    this is my first post and it is about a problem many of my friends have (and I do, too?). The problem is, I never know what I want. It starts with my career: I was pretty good at uni, but really, I only studied because I had no clue what else to do. Right now I am working in a job that is ok but not really interesting and I only do it to do something (as with uni). So then there is my (ex-)boyfriend whom I do love and don’t love at the same time. It has been an on-off relationship for years and I am tired of it. So I stopped seeing him some time ago and now often hang out with another guy – I am not really intersted in – but it is ok to hang out with. I have some friends, none of them really share my true passions (Have you seen “Into the wild” ? This is what I want, really, grow my own vegetables, have a dog, a little cottage, be close to nature – a hippystyle-life, really). Honestly, it all feels a little wrong and I fel as if I am in the wrong place. Maybe you can understand my feeling of “circling” around life, but not getting “inside”. To me it all comes down to the fact that I don’t know what I want, though maybe this is not the core issue. If you feel that you know what I feel and think, or even better: solved the situation for yourself – please feel free to answer. Every advice is highly appreciated! Thanks, Clementine

    #35477
    Buddhist Wife
    Participant

    Yes I have felt the same way you do.

    I felt this way once I’d graduated from Uni. I had a sort of quarter life crisis and I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in.

    I believe it is because I grew accustomed to having my life planned out, sometimes years in advance. As soon as I started high school I knew that I would studying and living the academic lifestyle until I was at least 21. I had options, but they were limited.

    Then suddenly I was out in the real world after graduating and I had all these possibilities and choices. It was liberating and I didn’t really know what to do. I had a series of minor jobs and I dated, but nothing really stuck and I often wondered to myself ‘What do I want’.

    I was looking for a vocation and for something which would feel life changing and wonderful.

    Slowly I’ve come to realise that I’m not a person who has a vocation and that most people aren’t. I think the idea of ‘finding what you are meant to do’ is a peculiarly Western one. For most of the rest of the planet, living is just living, in in most of those cases, it’s a struggle to get from one day to the next.

    I think that as humans we are just meant to live and spend most of our time on working to provide for ourselves. I think most people don’t find what they ‘want’ because such a thing doesn’t really exist. Most of us don’t have desires beyond providing for our material means, finding love and having some fun.

    I realised I am content ‘just’ being a wife and mother and that is what I want, if I want anything at all.

    I hope that made sense!

    #35533
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I couldn’t help but smile when I read your post and then your question again. 🙂

    Did you notice that you answered your own question? 😉

    “Have you seen “Into the wild” ? This is what I want, really, grow my own vegetables, have a dog, a little cottage, be close to nature – a hippystyle-life, really”

    You even used the word “really” twice. 😉 I wouldn’t have been able to describe what I want as well as you have.

    I have seen “Into The Wild” and despite his tragic end, I don’t think it’s unrealistic or unreasonable want. While I would never encourage to sell all your belongings and move to Alaska to live in a bus, what small baby-step change could you make in your life to bring yourself closer to nature and satisfy that want or need?

    You’re thinking in vary grandiose terms. Like you need an overhaul. But I don’t feel that’s going to give you what you want, because I’m sure there’s aspects of your current lifestyle that you wouldn’t want to lose either.

    Making a list and writing is always a good place. Start off with keywords, ideas, feelings, concepts, people, places, and things that you’re feel drawn towards. Which of those things are already present in your life? Which ones would you like more of? What’s one little thing that you could do this week to bring some more of those things into your life?

    It’s a relatively simple yet powerful exercise. I highly recommend you try it.

    #35717

    Hey Clementine,

    I also think you answered your own question.

    People say they don’t know what they want out loud, because then they know they would have to commit to their dream. It’s much easier to say I don’t know….because then you don’t have to do anything to come out of your comfort zone, which means you continue doing the same things you’ve been always doing.

    Also, most of the times it’s easier to point what we don’t want. Maybe you could start with that. Then notice what’s left…choose and commit.

    I personally found that my biggest obstacle has not been not knowing what I love (although I had no idea), but the fact that I kept myself busy with things/people so I at least had something….like you mention..the job, the new guy etc.

    As soon as I realized that and became aware of fear of failure, it’s even more scarier. You need courage to say out loud what you want. It’s sort of like getting married, you commit to the unknown. It might work out or it might not. But if you commit, try and stay true to your gut feeling, you can’t go wrong.

    Good luck working on it! It’s the toughest things to do. I believe it’s our duty, to align who we are with what we do (it doesn’t happen overnight).

    all the best 🙂

    #35733
    deanna
    Participant

    I am feeling exactly how you feel clementine. I’m an eighteen year old who feels so confused about life. Its like when i enter in college, I have expectations placed upon me to become a doctor like my dad and if i fail him, his money will go to waste. And yet, I don’t want to spend the next four years miserable or so into academics i won’t be able to interact with others. AT the same time, I’m worried i’ll be influenced easily into a life full of alchohol and partying because the school i’m going to has that reputation.AS well, i’m just so discouraged because when I tried to network with the people from my school or college, they just push me away, which discourages me even more.. I’m just a confused confused eighteen year old right now……

    #35734
    deanna
    Participant

    I am feeling exactly how you feel clementine. I’m an eighteen year old who feels so confused about life. Its like when i enter in college, I have expectations placed upon me to become a doctor like my dad and if i fail him, his money will go to waste. And yet, I don’t want to spend the next four years miserable or so into academics i won’t be able to interact with others. AT the same time, I’m worried i’ll be influenced easily into a life full of alchohol and partying because the school i’m going to has that reputation.AS well, i’m just so discouraged because when I tried to network with the people from my school or college, they just push me away, which discourages me even more. It’s already too late to sign up for community college so i feel stuck in a pithole..

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