Musings, Practice

So what now?

Anyone else now in their 50s, but still have no clue what they want to do with their life?

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done some cool things in my life: Flown a jet at 45,000 feet while viewing the Northern Lights. Written four published novels (so far). Narrated five audiobooks (and counting). Started and ran multiple businesses. But I’m just now starting to realize that the things that I do and who I am are not as separate as I believed.

Most of my life, my sense of self has been tied to how I make money. Isn’t that the way for most of us? We ask strangers, “What do you do?” as if their only purpose for breathing is to be a cog in the wheel of Capitalism. We judge people based on their jobs. A doctor or pilot is thought to be intelligent and trustworthy, while a retail service worker might be considered uneducated and replaceable. But our jobs are only a costume we wear to navigate the world. It is not who we are. We are so much more.

We are all experiencing what it means to be human, but we are all on an infinite number of paths leading through a kaleidoscope of possibilities to a shared, final destination. Each path is our own and no two paths are exactly the same. Our choices are what make us who we are.

As a Scorpio, I understand the value in re-inventing myself. But this is the first time I considered consolidating all the facets of my life and looking at myself as a whole. All of the things that I am, author, entrepreneur, mother, narrator, pilot, wife, dreamer, woman, American, and more, distilled into the very essence of what it means to be me. But I don’t think knowing myself completely is attainable. I’m not the same person I was 20 years ago. I’m not even the person I was last week. Circumstances, choices, even thoughts, can change us, as a snowball rolling downhill gathers more snow as it descends, altering it constantly as it travels. So too do we pick up thoughts, ideas, perceptions that alter us on our journey through existence.

And now I’m fifty years old and almost ready to embark on the next chapter of my life. My children are grown enough to not need me 24/7 as they did when they were little and I have a bit more time to do the things that I enjoy. The problem is, I feel like I’ve spent most of my life up until now doing what was expected of me, and I no longer know what it is that I want. I don’t know what will make me feel fulfilled and content. Happy.

So I invite you to join me on this adventure. Walk beside me for a time or just drop in for a cup of coffee. Maybe as I try to find my place in this world, you’ll recognize a bit of your own journey, too. We are not meant to navigate this world alone and my intention is to have some fun along the way.

2 thoughts on “So what now?”

  1. I studied existentialism in college for many years–it was actually my focus when I graduated with degrees in English and Philosophy. One of my favorite thinkers was Sartre who argued that the basic principle of existentialism is that existence precedes essence. Essentially, human beings are nothing other than what they choose to make of themselves. For example, I cannot claim that I am kind (smart, loyal, a pirate princess, etc.,) because I want to be. I need to choose to be kind and prove that I am through my actions and choices. Only then I can say that I am a kind person. Sartre noted that there is no predetermined reason for making these choices, we just have to make them–and we spend our lives creating who we want to be. One of my philosophy professors was good to say that it is impossible to claim much about ourselves until the day of our death, at which time our life is a story and our purpose defined. In other words my sweet friend, we’re all a work in progress. And what a grand journey it is. I’m proud of you whoever you choose to be.

  2. That makes a whole lot of sense, Donna P. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of who we were in the past so that we can choose who we will be in the future. Thank you for being an amazing friend and sharing your journey with me, too. All the hugs!!

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