By Ashlee McCabe
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware” — Martin Buber
Throughout much of my 28 years on this planet, life has always seemed like a great mystery to me. I’ve never been the type of person who has it all figured out. I was never the child who grew up with dreams of being a vet or a doctor, in fact I never really had a goal that excited me for longer than a few weeks. I was never the little girl who grew up imagining my perfect wedding day, how many children I would have, or even what my life would be like. That just wasn’t me!
That’s not to say I wasn’t a dreamer, but my fantasies were more whimsical than realistic. Once I left high school the pressure of making it in the ‘real world’ loomed over me like a rain cloud ready to flood my life if I didn’t find some sort of direction. As a result, I dabbled in lacklustre courses and unfulfilling jobs, basically anything that resembled a shred of ambition. I fumbled my way along, riding the ups and downs of life with little strategy or purpose in mind. Life to me felt like an enigma that I was somehow incapable of ever solving.
After several years of struggling to ‘get it together’, and numerous bouts of anxiety and depression as a result of feeling like a lost cause, I began to question the very idea of having it all figured out. I pondered the notion intensely, analysing my friends and family, whose own lives I used as case studies.
What I discovered, was that even those whose lives I most envied did not have it ‘all figured out’. Admittedly they may have had more areas ‘figured out’ than me, such as their careers or relationships, but even so, they still had areas that remained incomplete.
This was a liberating discovery for me, and overtime I came to understand that life was indeed an enigma, but one that I was not meant to solve, one that I was not meant to ‘figure out’, but rather one that I was simply meant to enjoy.
Now I’m not going to lie to you and pretend that this revelation catapulted me toward my life calling where suddenly everything fell into place… this is reality, darling! I’m still figuring it out, I’m still just drifting through life on a wing and a prayer, and at times I’m still completely oblivious. This revelation did however set me on a path of guiltless self-discovery.
I no longer feel bad or broken in the absence of my ‘togetherness’. Instead, I have come to accept the fact that while I might be on a directionless journey, I am no less on a journey- to some place, to somewhere, to someone. So you see, what I have finally figured out, is that it is ok to not have it all figured out.
In case you need a bit more reassurance, here are some more reasons why it really is OK to NOT have it all figured out:
It Makes Life Interesting:
Can you imagine how boring life would be if you really did have it all figured out? If you knew exactly what career you wanted, the type of person you would marry, the exact style of wedding dress you would wear, the house you would live in, and the amount of children you would have?
In doing so you would completely bypass all the fun, all the adventure, all the improvisation, all the mistakes, all the lessons, all the little things that put life in perspective. Walking a straight line sounds like the epitome of a mundane existence to me. To hell with the straight line, zigzag your way through life.
You’ll Discover Who You Are and What You Really Want:
As human beings we are constantly changing our wants and beliefs. Half of us can’t even decide what to have for dinner most nights, let alone the course of our entire lives. In not having it all figured out, you are presented with the wonderful opportunity of discovering what it is you truly want out of life, rather than what you simply think you want.
In doing so you will also discover who you really are as a person. You’ll be forced to do some major soul-searching, and in the process you’ll be confronted with things you never knew about yourself-your wants and needs, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses.
You’ll Gain Life Experience:
You might think that all those dead-end jobs, disposable relationships, mind-wandering courses, and unused degrees have been a complete waste of precious time, but think again! In not having it all figured out- you’ve experimented, you’ve improvised, and you’ve probably failed many times, and in turn you’ve gained priceless life experience. After all, it is in falling that the bird learns how to fly.
You’ll Have Fewer Regrets:
In your attempt to figure it all out, you’ll try new things, you’ll make mistakes, you’ll take chances on people who will break your heart, you’ll even fall on your arse a few times, and that’s ok. We’re all familiar with the saying “you only regret the chances you didn’t take’, well for those who have their shit together a little less than others there is great reward in your risk. You’ll be less likely to live with regrets because you would have quite literally been there, done that, and been there several times more.
So here’s to all you wanderers and drifters, all you misfits and mavericks, all you procrastinators and dreamers. We are not lost souls; we are just free spirits…. on our way… somewhere.
“Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived. Follow the path that is no path, follow your bliss” — Joseph Campbell.
About the author:
Ashlee McCabe is a freelance writer, self-confessed knowledge junkie, spiritual seeker, avid meditator, and a passionate Law of Attraction advocate. I feel as though it is my calling in life to educate people on the great inner power we all possess within us, and how to harness this power in order to consciously create amazing lives.
You can connect with Ashee via email [email protected]