MAP & COMPASS

How do you pick a path?

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My map at 20 years young is so expansive. There are roads running in every direction and beckoning me to follow. There are roads that seem fun to follow, wise to follow, easy to follow, and intriguing to follow, but there are also roads that seem long, challenging, complicated, and rocky. Some of these latter roads promise me better things in due time, but whether I can get to that point is a question that gives my feet pause.

Imagining my map at 30 years old is exciting, because it is much bigger. By that time, I hope I’ll have taken the right course and opened the right doors, and I’ll have unlocked the roads that reach across the world. I’ll be able to travel, see the world, experience foreign culture, find tradition and discover innovation, and enjoy everything that life outside my sheltered Albertan upbringing has to offer.

But first, I need to figure out how to get there.

I’m in the midst of a career crisis, put simply. I don’t know what I want to do with my skills, which interest I should pursue, where I should direct my education, and how I should apply my utility to society. I always thought I knew, too. I was dead set on dentistry, and I had good reasons for it, reasons that aren’t necessarily facing doubt in my mind but are being steadily overshadowed by better reasons for better alternatives. I wonder if it’s normal for a university student so late in her degree to be having second thoughts about where she’s headed.

I believe that each soul is home to a metaphorical compass that points him or her in a certain direction in all aspects of our life, whether it is our morals, our passions, or our faith and beliefs. I believe that I am incredibly blessed for having the support of my family, the love of my boyfriend, the companionship of my friends, the compassion of the spirits and the guidance of the Buddha. I believe that my map at 20 is every ounce as thrilling as my map at 30, if I only look at it with the same enthusiasm and acceptance for what the future holds. If I patiently wait and understand that the timing will be perfect. If I work hard and become attuned to my own compass, and if I listen to where it lets me go. If, instead of feeling stressed by the tug of so many different directions, I embrace them all and see which doors open when I try.

There shouldn’t be a right or wrong career path in life. We go where we are drawn to go. I love the idea that every person was born with this unique compass that guides us to live through our passions, but we have the privilege of choosing the exact path we pursue.

Writing this post has given me such a calming sense of intuition and acceptance for what lies ahead. x

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