At a certain point in our lives, typically during small talk conversations with family + friends, it feels like the one million dollar question that always seems to pop up is *what are you doing with your life?* [#SIGH]. Sometimes it feels like once we get to our later teen years//early 20s, it is expected of us to have all of the answers [or at least some of the answers ; )]. Any of us could ask another twenty-something how many times they have been asked this exact question, + they will most likely say a countless number of times. That being said, no one is looking to compare themselves to us — the idea that these people are comparing//judging us is really just all in our heads.

It is okay if we don’t know what we want to do for the rest of our life — maybe we are just not sure what we want to do with our major, or maybe we are someone who is not even sure what to major in. It’s alright if we don’t know which direction we want to go after graduation — maybe some of us are not sure if we will graduate at all. All of our circumstances are different. Maybe some of us want to stick to our roots + follow our hearts back to the place we have always known or maybe we want to branch out, be a free spirit, + see the world.

The point being: taking this next step of our lives with distinct expectations might limit us. The only guarantee in life is that: there are NO guarantees. We are constantly changing, so naturally the dreams + goals we are striving to reach are constantly changing too. The things we may have always wanted when we were kids may not match the things we want as adults. We are allowed to change our minds + go off path for a bit. There is a reason for everything — there is a reason why our greatest aspirations are usually parallel to our greatest fears. If they came to us that easily, then they would not be worth it. Here are three questions we should ask ourselves that will help point us in the right direction:

#1] What Are We Really Passionate About + Why // We should dig deep for what makes us excited to wake up every day. For every interest or passion, try to pinpoint what part about it gets us most excited. It is also helpful to branch out + try some things that will let us explore our interests a bit more — think volunteer opportunities, informational interviews, + side hustles. We should pay close attention to what moves us. The goal is to dig until we reach the foundation of the passion.

#2] What Does Our *Dream Job* Look Like // We should consider all facets of a job when thinking about our ideal career — not just the title or compensation. Do we prefer a structured environment or a free spirited type of environment? Do we want to wear a suit, uniform, or jeans to work every day? Do we want to work remotely, travel to other cities, or work in an office? All of these questions significantly affects the types of roles we consider.

#3] How Will This Job Fit Into Our Life // We want to try to picture how the role we choose might look like down the line — after one year, three years, or even 10 years. While we have no way of knowing how our role will evolve over time [or what jobs will become available in the future], it is important to explore how the role will change as we advance. A job that makes us happy does not always lead to a life that makes us happy. It is vital for us to look at our career choices in the context of the rest of our lives — family, relationships, hobbies, fitness, etc.

We look for power in every aspect of our lives. We want to make decisions, have plans, + execute them. Sometimes, that’s not the way life works though. Nothing feels better than having a plan + knowing what we want to do. It is absolutely okay to have hopes + dreams ++ make plans in order to reach them. However, when life comes knocking on the door, the greatest way to answer is with an open mind + open heart. Bottom line: it is okay if we don’t have it all figured out//we don’t know where we will be five years from now, or even a month from now. We are not supposed to have all of the answers right now, darling. ++ We should not stop until we find the answers we are looking for.

++ Shannon [@fitfuturern] // Chicago, IL

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