I'm writing this because I have yet to attend school and do all those things you're supposed to do in order to acquire a sense of purpose. Right now I feel like none of the jobs available will get me where I want to go. Rather, I'll end up in some sort of identity stasis pod. All my Christian friends tell me God gives me an identity, but I don't see how, practically.
Everyone at the age of 19 (or 18 or 28 sometimes) wants to know what to do with his life. Most people don't know where to get started, so they get off to college where that sense of purpose will apparently be revealed. I've been to two different colleges in my life and didn't find them nearly as rewarding as traveling up and down the United States' West Coast. I'm not everyone, though. Some people like to sit in class and take in all the knowledge they possibly can. It makes sense. Learning does grow you in some ways, but doing is another area of growth everyone needs.
So here I am, wondering whether my end goal should be musician, writer for Ars Technica, or photographer for National Geographic. Or I could risk all social status, live in my parents' basement (they need to get one first), and take this blog full time, which is scary to even consider because I have no idea what I'd actually write about. In fact, none of those are near to reality, but they're end goals, so reality doesn't matter so much.
Most days, inspired by indolence and lack of sleep, I just want to be. Yes, that widely-discussed state of being. The thing that hippies are known for. It gets overwhelming, thinking about what to do with your life. Little jobs that get you to where you're going, like lifeguarding at a pool and working at a retail store, seem inconsequential in every way, but somehow manage to shape your character if you leave out expectations.
There are many things I want to do with my life, but the most powerful, emotionally, of any is to make people feel the way I do about things. Those fuzzy feelings. What I felt when I first heard Switchfoot's "Needle (July '08 - Take 7)", and in a different way Coldplay's "Lost" and "Life in Technicolor II". It sounds weird to say that I want to help or make people feel things (incite [it really isn't a negative word] feelings?), but that's the truth. Writing things like this doesn't fulfill that goal — at least not to me. If anything it helps other people know they aren't alone in being lost in the sea of individuality. Oh, the college stage of life.