From time to time, I come across handwritten journal entries that are poignant and worth sharing. In the summer of 2016, I was floundering in the depths of self-awareness. Prior to realizing my neurodivergent status, I struggled with who, what, and how on a daily basis. Others seemed to have it so much more easily, much simpler, much more directly.
Without further ado, if you find yourself where I was, may you find yourself in due time.
‘But what do you want to do?’
At 28 years old, with 8 years of advanced education, a teaching license, a therapist’s credential, experience as a party planner, a bartender…
I had not really considered the question openly, What do I want to do?
With staggering nothingness in front and anxious regrets behind, and over $100,000 in student debt on my shoulders, the question just never felt valid. What do I want? To start over. To make those 18-yr-old decisions at 28. To embrace myself for who I am and, somehow, make money doing it.
I write from the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a truly lifelong spot of inspiration. I walked here from Penn Station, some 50 blocks, in this sweltering city heat, on a Tuesday in July. I’m grateful for the hot cement under my kicks. I’m grateful for direction.
I ponder the question of what to do as the lives of millions continue on around me. There is no one answer, but a series of possible futures radiating outward from every conceivable direction. I contemplate the most well-meaning advice from those closest to me.
‘You love teaching! You’re so good at it!’
‘You went all the way to Kansas to study music therapy. Open a practice. Make your money.’
‘Get married already.’ – this one, notably, my brother.
But all I want to do is write. Not for one cause, but for hundreds. For parents and children, for teachers and therapists, for people who want to feel connected to someone genuinely open and welcoming. I may be good at helping others, but all I want to do is help myself be better.
To her, the me of that summer, and to you if you’re with her, I say, it gets easier.
Love yourself to find your partner.
Love your ideas to find your mission.
Love your body to find your confidence.
Love your today to find comfort tomorrow.
Keep your growth mindset alive, and keep asking questions.