Feeling lost

August 20, 2020 | 424 words | 3 min read

I’ve been having a series of what I would call “quarter-life crises” these past few months.

It’s felt pretty shitty.

And this is only after getting the job that I had been dreaming about for a few years.

But to some extent I even saw this coming. Topic for a later date, but its just funny how these things work… C’est la vie…

Anyways, the point is, I’ve been thinking more and more about my purpose.

Classic questions, e.g. what was I put on this earth to do? But I think even asking that question makes far too grand assumptions. Namely that there exists a predetermined purpose for me, and that there was someone/thing to make that determination.

Of course, we can jump in the rabbit hole and discuss religion, but let’s stay in Kansas for now.

Whenever discussing one’s life purpose, the word “passion” tends to come up in conversation. It seems almost synonymous to “purpose”.

People use the word passion enough to make me cringe when I hear it. (Why I chose “purpose” instead of “passion” for the title)

“Follow your passion, and not someone else’s” - Everyone ever.

It sounds great. Unless you haven’t found yours yet.

But given my 21 years of life experience, it seems to me that the real problem here is not that I haven’t done enough “soul-searching”. Rather, the problem is that there is no such thing as strictly “my” passion.

When I think about all the things that I’ve devoted significant amounts of my life to (my college degree, high school basketball, programming), nothing was purely “me”. There was always strong external influence. I spent years 0 through 18 following in my dad’s footsteps of becoming a lawyer, and only realized it during year 19. I picked up basketball after my brother.

I think it really just traces back to the idea of self. And classic determinism vs. free will. I am reminded of an article (“There’s no such thing as free will, but we’re better off believing in it [so we can subsequently believe in things like passion]”), assigned by my high school English teacher.

Do I truly have my own dreams and passions? Or am I just convincing myself that someone else’s are my own?

Have I become so good an imitator that I have successfully convinced myself?

Or maybe that’s the point! That at some point, the dreams and passions that we adopt from others slowly become our very own loving children?

Surely I can’t be alone in these thoughts, right?