I have been continuously encountering the question of “what’s next?” over the past weeks and months of my life and I can never quite materialize the answer. I just don’t know.
I haven’t been able to sleep lately. I’d stay up and watch another show or some random thing to keep me from going insane in the quiet darkness of my room. It’s not like my mind’s been racing or because of any anticipation of things to come, I’ve just been restless – even if only on the inside.
I was at a graduation party yesterday for a young friend of mine who is going to be heading off to college in the fall. As we often do we started talking about somewhat deep topics and life and meaning. We went through some of my Alaska shots and talked about what college will be like and hopes and fears and all of that. And at one point we got to the subject of gifts. I was telling him about a dramatic project we are reviving at work about a man who isn’t seen as being gifted and yet he ends up blowing everyone away with his unrealized talents. When I got finished sharing the plot he says to me that he hasn’t figured out what his gift is yet. I turned to him and said honestly, “neither have I.”
When I was in high school I was always pretty good at everything but never great at any one thing. I got really good grades all around and could talk about characters’ struggles in a book as well as I could balance chemical equations or understand French grammar. I was truly a Jack of all trades and master of none. In many ways, I still feel that way. And it’s not very satisfying.
Over the past 3 years since college my skills have grown significantly in Photoshop and photography and I honestly feel like I have a gift for it – something I don’t admit to myself all that much. So I will say that I do have talents and they bring me pleasure. But at the same time I feel like there’s got to be more inside of me waiting to show itself. Something that will provide my life with real inspiration, direction, fulfillment, and peace.
It’s frustrating for me to be in this constant state of uncertainty about things with only momentary periods when everything seems to click. I know we all go through it but I seem to have an excess in the amount of time I have to think about it and let it overwhelm me.
Just as my friend ponders his academic future and all the changes that he will face within himself I, too, look ahead at what’s out there for me. It’s a scary thing and I don’t always like to think about some of the less desirable possibilities that may be in store. But all I can do is wait and see what the answer will be.