Feeling Lost? A Twentysomething Guide.

For this week’s post, I was tempted to just come up with some creative title for this picture, post the picture, and then just leave it at that. A picture says a thousand words, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the inner writer in me felt the need to explain more in depth. What does this picture mean? Why did it resonate with me in such a way? Why is it on a twentysomething blog? Maybe some of these questions are obvious, I’m not sure. If that’s the case, please ignore the rest of this post and just thank me for posting the picture.

Anyway. I came across this photo earlier this week, and I never felt I related to a picture more than the one above. First, you’re a baby, then you’re a small child…some time goes by…and then you triumphantly hold your diploma high in the air, Breakfast Club style, after graduating high school or college. For me, it was college. As soon as I graduated, this twentysomething dizziness started to kick in. Fast forward thirty years, and the person at the other end of the time line seems to be thriving. Running, even! They are so excited about their amazing life.

So what is that chaotic jumble of squiggles in the middle?

Well folks, that’s the twentysomethings. That’s what this blog is all about. And in addition to the jumble, the title also caught my attention. “Lost in Life?” YUP. I am. So for this post, I thought it might be helpful to write about three ways that I, as a lost twentysomething, have found myself to be a little less lost.

1. Find your passion

  • I know this sounds like a daunting task. But the challenge here is simple. Think of your life right now and what you do. Work, school, XYZ responsibility, etc. But if you didn’t have any of those responsibilities, if you didn’t have to go to work tomorrow, or didn’t have to take classes, what would you be doing? In other words, how are you going to spend your days when you retire? In my case, I know I’m going to be sitting in a Starbucks all day, writing. And right now, I work at Starbucks, and I’m writing this blog post…so hey, maybe I’m not doing so bad!

2. Find your center

  • Life is stressful. Life throws challenges your way. But when everything becomes too overwhelming and chaotic, what do you do? What do you do to find your balance? Your center? What brings you back to the core? For me, it’s those deep breath moments. When everything in life is getting to be a little too much, just take a deep breath and think what do I need to do right now? Take a walk, stretch into a few yoga poses, some more deep breaths, eat twenty pieces of chocolate. Anything! As long as it makes you feel more connected to yourself.

3. Find your purpose

  • This one is my most recent challenge, posed to me by a good friend. It’s the why. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why do you do what you do? It could apply to anything. Work, school, friends, anything. And if you don’t know the answer to that question, I would suggest some soul-searching, or consider trying something else. I had a tough time recently. My question was why do I want to work in Student Affairs? And after some good conversations with mentors and friends and some internal reflecting, I’ve found a partial purpose. Some days, I forget that purpose and want to do something completely different…and that’s okay too.

So, friends, the moral of the story is that life is hard. It will give you ups and downs. But don’t let it throw you off course. It’s easy to get lost. I’ve been lost the majority of my time as a twentysomething. But I don’t think that means I can’t keep working to find myself.