Two weeks ago I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly I was feeling. I kept assuming it was the obvious: the anxiety accompanying a big life change. Except here I am, in a new-yet-familiar city, my belongings unpacked onto designated spots in my apartment, with my if-I-dare-say perfect roommate. But that feeling has not dissipated.
It’s a bit of anxiousness, slight anticipation, and a dash of uncertainty. It’s not always present. It’s tucked away in a part of my mind that surfaces only when I find myself not particularly focused. When I visualize it, I see a question mark with an exclamation hiding shyly in the corner. As I lay in bed unable to sleep, I thought to myself, it’s hard to have the answer to a question you don’t know. But really, there is no pressing question. There is no major problem to solve, no life altering decision to be made. So, now what?
Yup, there it is. My question. Now What?
Well, I’m not quite sure. This is a question I’m not used to. So much ambiguity, so open-ended. Most of my past years have been filled with the need to plan and organize, leaving me unsure if I know how to go about life without doing so.
First, let me reflect on how I think I got here. I studied at Drexel University—no I’m not bragging, especially if you look at my monthly loan payment. But Drexel is different. (No really, that’s their motto.) Unlike other institutions, we attend college year-round, take fast-paced 10-week terms, and alternate between classes and working full time (which was usually in addition to a part-time job for me). Don’t forget time for sports, extracurricular activities, social life, and sleep. There was always something that needed doing. Decisions to make. Options to consider. Plans to plot. There was always something there and always something next.
As I prepared for graduation, my attention shifted to finding my first “real” job (because apparently everything else I had done up to that point was pretend). Luckily, I received an offer from a small startup.
I had a job. A job with no pre-determined end date. A job I needed to do well in. A job I needed to use to get to the next level of accomplishments. Yet after spending years of strategically plotting, suddenly I didn’t know if I belonged where I was.
Of course, I didn’t want to leave my job without a plan, so I came up with different scenarios for my next move. In the meantime, I met my boyfriend who inspired new questions. When I wasn’t obsessing over what I thought my career should be, I was obsessing over how to shrink the 3700 miles between us. Eventually, decisions were made to solve both of these problems.
Right now, my boyfriend and I are in the same city, I have a job I like, and the only decision that needs to be made is what to cook for dinner (since I finally have the time to cook). I can wake up and go about my day knowing I’m where I’m supposed to be.
I’m no longer surrounded by dozens of people asking “What’s your plan?” Instead I’ve found myself asking Now What? And I love not having an answer! So right now I’m going to start a blog because I like to write and share things and pretend other people care about what I have to say.
I’ve had several ideas of what my blog’s topic should be, but Now What? is going to be about the time between questions, accepting the present for what it is, and developing one’s self. There will be more tidbits of important information: self care, personal finances, goal setting, etc. If anything, this will be how I get through this questionless phase of my life (which may only be another week or so to be honest—but I’ll keep blogging).