If I could travel back in time

{Photo of the day: Yoga time.}

Mackenzie, our 21 year old niece, is currently wading thru one of life’s existential crises.  The “what do I want to do with my life” dilemma that I remember all too well.  I think I might remember it so well because, for me, that feeling has never completely gone away.  Mark & I so badly wish we had answers for her, or a roadmap, anything to help ease the discomfort of not knowing what to do.  Though, I don’t think telling people what to do is ever really helpful.  Just because a path worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for you.  So while I’ve shied away from offering advice it’s left me wondering what I would tell my 20 year old self if 40 year old me could go back in time and have a conversation with her.  

I think it might go a little something like this…

Life doesn’t get any less confusing or complicated.  There is no “arriving” in life.  There is no finish line or destination in which you’ve “made it”.  There are successes and failures, good days and bad, periods of elation and times of devastation.  Always.  From now, until the day we die.  You’ll want to run away from the discomfort of your incessant thoughts until you realize that there are no external solutions to internal problems.  In other words, you can’t run away from you.  So long as you are curious and aware and actively participating in your life you will always experience a certain amount of discontent because you’re trying.  You’re searching for meaning and purpose and that takes a tremendous amount of trial and error.  You’re also bound to experience joy and fulfillment because you care.  You have the desire to make something with your time on this planet and so you will.  But it’s like watching an oak tree grow, it’s hard to see change and growth from day to day, even year to year.  But it’s happening.  All that to say, you’re doing great, stop being so hard on yourself.

So, if you’re reading this Mackenzie, you’re doing great, stop being so hard on yourself.

3 Comments

  • Michele, as someone who is also dealing with “what do I want to do with my life” dilemma , I wanted to say thank you! You lay out some sound advice that I think we all need to remember. It also made me really miss hanging out with you guys 🙂

    Thank you for being so awesome

    • You’re pretty awesome yourself. I can’t wait to see where your current quest takes you two. And yeah, we totally miss hanging out with you guys too.

  • You, my dear, are pretty amazing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Not only with the young but those of us that could use some reminding as well!! Keep being awesome!

By Michele

Michele

Hi, I'm Michele, a nomadic wedding photographer and lover of the great outdoors. I live on the road full-time and document my adventures daily. This is my personal blog where I share and record my thoughts on living simply and intentionally with less stress and more joy. Check out my wedding and portrait photography at http://www.oncwest.com

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