I was thinking about this while walking to the toilet a few days ago. I have a lot of these bathroom-walk thoughts; mostly fleeting bits of pseudo-intellectual nonsense, but this particular one stuck with me.
The most important questions you can ask yourself in life are also the kinds of questions you can't ask other people. Are you happy? Do you like your job? What is it that you want to do with your life? What's your purpose on this planet?
Those topics are too deep and too personal and, more problematically, can bring up feelings of regret through self-examination that most people try to bury deep down in their psyche.
Asking those questions to anybody, especially people you don't know very well, is a sure fire way of losing a friend or getting punched in the face. Nevertheless, those are some of the most important questions to ask yourself.
From a practical stand-point this presents a problem because you can't ask people how to figure the answer to those questions either. How do you know if you're happy? How do I figure out what it is that I want to do?
A lot people, especially those fresh out of college or living with parents, struggle with answering those questions. I would love to be able to speak to 20 or 30 successful and content people and ask them those questions. How did you know this is what you should be doing? How do you know which opportunities to take and which to pass on? How did you figure out that this was IT? Describe that moment when you realized that this was IT?
It's so strange that people arrange themselves to maximize the distance between themselves and other people on the bus.
This kind of shame or taboo surrounding some these questions--like with sex--results in people feeling increasingly isolated. Am I the only one who doesn't have a clue what they want to do? What is wrong with me?
Bus-driver can you stop shaking the bus please? I'm trying to write here.
I feel like if we were all a bit more open to engaging with those questions in a mature way we would be much better off.
In that spirit:
- Am I happy?: Right now I am enjoying my job and learning new things. The place I live in is not necessarily my favourite part of the planet. I am most definitely not done changing yet.
- What is it that you want to do?: Truth be told I don't actually know. I know what sort of things I enjoy and don't enjoy. Is what I am doing my life's call? I'm not sure. I will let you know when I find out
- How do you figure out if you're happy?: I think I'm very naturally aware of my state of mind, so it's more difficult for me to answer that question. Has anything changed lately? Have you done anything that you're not comfortable with lately? Is there something that you really want to do but for some reason can't?
And the bus has arrived, thanks for reading and good luck with all the things.
-- Jacob Blanco