Questioning the process

I have made a vow to myself. Well maybe it is better to call it a reminder? Or a half year resolution? I hate to use such permanent words as promise and vow. If I have learned anything at all in the last few months, it is that there is nothing permanent about this world.

In fact the way we are taught to view the world is completely wrong. We are force fed this idea of processes and steps. One foot in front of the other type of thinking. This is not wrong for everyone, but when from day 1 we are expected to meet certain stepping stones aligned with certain ages.

Walking at 18 months

Preschool at 3

Elementary School

Middle School

High School

College

First Job

Get Married

Have Kids

Move up in your career

etc …

There are sublevels of steps within each of these expected life events. Now there will be variations in this list – obviously. But what if life was not supposed to be lived where we are expected to follow any of this. What if we took it as an adventure, full discovery? What if this is all in the wrong order?

I’m not saying any of this needs to be changed. All I think is that we need to ask ourselves the whys to own our life. If I cannot explain why I am going to college, then why am I going at all?

This is the kind of things we need to be asking ourselves everyday. Why am I eating this food? Why am I watching this TV show? What is all of this doing for me, and what am I gaining from this? Break it all down. Fill in the blank. If we are not actively choosing, we choose to be slaves to an unconscious life.

If you consider the important points of your life, the key moments are made when you pose and answer a question. Marriage, careers, getting healthy. It all starts with questioning your current and future states, and if you are willing to alter it.

So what is that resolution I mentioned in the introduction? It is to ask myself why. To be bold enough to ask it of myself, of others, all day, every day. I know this may be out of the norm to ask of anyone, but that is in fact all it is – out of the social norm. Time to trade in the series of steps and processes, for the messy jumble of questions and see where it takes us.

 

Process & Purpose

April. A time of rebirth, both in beautiful and painful ways. Spring brings both an array of color and life, but also brings deadly tornados and rain. Sometimes the new life leaves a radiant impression, while other times the shadow takes over. This April, I cannot tell you what will remain, the brilliance of new beginnings, or the fear of losing the ground beneath my feet.

Graduation.

I’ve done this once. High school graduation was different though. You walk out and you could not be happier to escape, to find your purpose, to grow. It is the next step that has been drilled into your head since the age of 7. Graduate high school and you make this much money, college and you make this much more, add in a masters and you make even more money. So here I am stuck between college and the next step, but what is it? Have we raised the bar again to the point of requiring another 2-3 years of school, because an accredited degree means nothing? What field will I pursue? Will I continue to grow my depth of knowledge in business, or is there some untapped area of potential that I do not even know about?

This is what I am getting at. I just finished four years diving into the world of marketing and itching to sink my teeth in. I’m at the crossroad and it is time to dive in and decide for myself how I like marketing in the real world.

Except, it is not as easy as it looks.

College is supposed to train you for that step up job, but things have changed since 2007. It makes me question what in the world I spent the last 4 years of my life doing. My heart sinks.

So I look to masters programs. Except, I don’t even know if I want to travel down the business road, because what if I don’t like it? I do not know if I need to change fields, let alone, if I want an MBA you need…1-2 years of work experience.

This cyclical path that post grads are on is torture. It is painful. It is like those questions in elementary school problem solving: “If the frog leaps 13 ft forward and 11 ft back, then 2 ft forward, and another 3 ft back, how far has the frog traveled?” 1 foot. I feel like I am walking in a world of molasses, slow and sticky.

I am not saying that I do not have hope, because searching for a job is a full time job, and I am a full time student currently. The process, so far, has been disheartening in comparison to my friends who walked into senior year with a job.

Yet, I keep finding myself coming back to peace. Every time I think of freaking out, of having a melt down out of fear, I find faith. I have made it 22 years thus far being successful when I hand over myself to the Lord. So maybe it is time to change my measure of success. It is time to stop limiting God. There is a peace about this process, that unfortunately gets taken for laziness by most. It is not that I am not trying, it is that I am waiting.

I think the issue I keep battling is not the fact that I do not have a job yet, or that my four years of college debt needs to be paid. The issue is that there are all these people pressuring their own concept of success on me. Expectations of security and happiness.

So I felt called to redefine success. This is what I landed on:

Success is to seek fulfillment. The only way to be fulfilled is to be satisfied that it is not possible in the broken world.

Cyclical isn’t it? But that is the point. It all is cyclical. The system is broken, because we are broken humans. To end the circle I will instead choose to withdraw my focus from the process to the purpose.