I go through periods where I find it difficult to make decisions. I find myself wavering about Friday night plans, not knowing which will be more fun. I go back and forth about which way to go when presented with various options–sometimes it is even as simple as what to make for dinner. I consistently hypothesize about the counter-factual and what would be better for me. I also sometimes do this about work (as a consultant, I am presented with many possibilities and must be able to differentiate between priorities). This is a common problem for people in my generation. There is even an acronym for it: Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). I have spoken with others about this and I realize it is not only me.
I often wonder if I am making decisions because it is what I want, or whether it is what is expected of me. Creating this differentiation is key and I try to find the space in which to be quiet and listen to what is inside of myself. Within this world of social media, it can be difficult to find those spaces. Last week as I realized I need to get in touch with my inner voice, I opened up my meditation book and was greeted by this verse. It perfectly captured my need to let my own spirit sing, rather than having it shut out by the noise of the world. Enjoy.
My self threatens to escape,
powerfully attracted by the world’s light.
Come now prescient, intuitive feeling,
sturdily assume your rights,
replace for me the power of thought
that tends to lose itself
in the senses’ blaze of seeming.
A dear friend sent me a TED talk this past week by a woman named Meg Jay, which was titled Why 30 is not the new 20. This seemingly nice psychiatrist explained that the choices we make in our 20’s are much more important than we think and that in fact, the people we date, the jobs we accept and the lives we lead in our 20’s are really just preparing us for the rest of our lives. In theory I agree with her premise, but I felt her talk was lacking.
When I finished watching, I was depressed. I turned 30 a few months ago and have been struggling with the significance of it. (I realize that we are the ones who imbue these otherwise meaningless moments with so much importance). If 30 is not the new 20, what is it? To me, her talk failed to really outline what are the decisions we should be making in our lives. I assume that many of the experiences in my 20’s were worth something and I am reaping the benefits of that wisdom now, but how can I know that? I suppose those answers can only be answered by ourselves, primarily as we reflect on where we have been and where we want to go.
On the other hand, my dear friend also sent me this article about taking advantage of your 20’s to really explore the world. Rather than focusing on building your CV, this article details the importance of enjoying those years and understanding that all those random skills you gain will come in handy later on. And it is hilarious.
I’m not exactly sure if there is a moral to this story, except that it is always good to have friends that send you articles prior to group skype calls. And since I met both of those lovely ladies in my 20’s, I must have been doing something right!