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Deciding what to do with your life

My question is how do other people decide what to do with their lives?! 


I have a good job/career but I basically see that as a job, I don’t think work is the most important part of life, even if it’s a skilled and stable job with good career prospects. I also spend my entire adolescence believing that I would kill myself before I reached 21 so even though I’m in my 20s I feel like I’m really still at a 14/15yo level of figuring myself out!! 


A part of me wants to become a nun (seriously. It’s something I’ve wanted for a very long time and whatever I do I can’t seem to shake the thought). A part of me wants to raise a child as a single parent (this might be impossible though, for a number of reasons). A part of me wants to spend my life with a life partner and not have kids (I’m a lesbian and the though of spending my life with a woman is Heart). 


Do you just wait and see what happens??? I know I have at least 1/2 more years of just working, but it’d be nice to have a goal in mind so I feel less...empty all the time. 


Re: Deciding what to do with your life

Hi @DruidChild, nice to see you around again! Smiley Happy What you have asked is a really complex and deep question. It can be difficult to answer and sometimes this type of question doesn't have a static answer. Whether you meant it rhetorically or not, waiting, trying and seeing is usually all that we can do. In the beginning, we make goals and try our best to reach them. Once we get there (or even along the way), we may decide that we would rather be somewhere else, doing something else with someone else.. and so we begin to look at what we need to do to reach that new 'goal'. This kind of operates on the notion of 'you don't know until you try'.. which I understand can be quite terrifying and comforting in different ways.

In general, focusing on 'life' as a whole can be quite overwhelming.. both short term and long term goals have a purpose. Sometimes focusing on short term goals can be more helpful when you are overloaded with options and possibilities Heart It can mean that although your life is still largely yet to come, you are still making progress and moving forward towards it.. sometimes without realising until you reflect back upon it. It is so normal to not have everything figured out.. or to even have a clear plan at all.

Re: Deciding what to do with your life

@DruidChildI can relate to your experiences. I've constantly had to rearrange the plans I had for my life and readjust my goals depending on my circumstances. I've personally found the idea of having 'five year plans', 'ten year plans', etc. to be unhelpful for me.
I thought that I would have everything worked out by now, but as I get older, I've realised that people older than us are still struggling to work out what to do with their lives. I know many people who have changed careers later in life or ended up doing things that were completely different from what they initially wanted to do. I think that we constantly grow and evolve and that this is a natural part of life and not something to be ashamed of. We're only human, after all.
I've heard the saying that life isn't about what you do, but rather about how you do it, and what we do isn't necessarily who we are. That has helped me a lot when things didn't always go the way I planned regarding my career.


Re: Deciding what to do with your life

Heyo @DruidChild,

Im still fairly young and in that stage of building towards getting a job (Im at Uni), and I honestly have struggled in the past to figure out what i'm supposed to be doing. I think its important to find your vocation but it wont always be the first thing you commit to. A lot of my family is going back to uni to get different degrees and try new things in life and I think its never too late to start. One thing to note as well is your passion doesn't always have to be your job since that can realistically be hard to come by. Maybe there's a way to balance a decent job and still invest in a deep passion such as a hobby or on the side ? For now maybe the best thing for you to do is to give yourself as much options for the future and try to set the groundwork and back-up plans so you try and explore and expand your life down the path.


Hope you figure out everything !


Re: Deciding what to do with your life


Hey @DruidChild , great to hear from you again!


For me I'm kind of a go with the flow type person... I guess I see life as a whole lot of little choices and actions, and I do what I can to make choices and do things that I think will be fulfilling and be in line with my values, and then kinda just see where that takes me.


One option is you could take smaller scale steps that give you some exposure to those various options, to give you more of an idea if you'd like it being a bigger part of your life? Like for figuring out if you want to be a nun, maybe you could spend some time involved in a church or convent in a different role first, or talk to some nuns about their experience, or add into your current lifestyle aspects of being the nun lifestyle that appeal to you (whether that's prayer, meditation, volunteering- sorry if I'm off base,  gotta admit I don't know much about what being a nun involves myself). For figuring out if you want to be a parent- maybe looking into volunteering or working with kids in some capacity? Like as a mentor type figure, or a nanny (a friend of mine went overseas and spent a year staying with and helping with one family), or a role that appeals to you more... For figuring out if you want a life partner, you could maybe start by looking at going on a date or finding somewhere you could meet people you might be interested in...


Idk if any of that's helpful, but one last thing I'll add is try and enjoy the journey of figuring it out Smiley Happy good luck!

Re: Deciding what to do with your life

@Anzelmo Thank you for your reply, I appreciate hearing your thoughts and advice! And that picture is really sweet and encouraging too Heart


@hellofriend Thank you! That advice is really, really helpful and I will definitely keep it in mind (also - you’re not too off base with what nuns do - a lot of prayer and volunteer-type work is involved!). 


I’ve been able to set up an initial appointment with a psychotherapist and I think some talk therapy will help a help, since a lot of my anxiety etc around the future is trauma related.