Yesterday, I celebrated a friend's 35th birthday. It's the fourth year that I've been a part of her life, and I have fond memories of eating cake and dancing with two other friends in her basement apartment in 2010, shortly after she moved to the city.
In some ways, my life hasn't changed much since then. I'm still here in Toronto. Still struggling to make ends meet. Still unsure of where my life is headed. But appearances can be deceiving, and I feel certain that these years have been important ones.
I started a nannying job that fall. Took care of two rambunctious boys for a year. Then spent a year and a half working for their mom's business. The whole time, I asked myself, What am I doing? Where am I headed?
It felt like nothing was happening.
And then a conversation I hardly remember, except for the sound of my own voice saying, "I'd love to go to school, but I can't. There's no way I could afford it." And Jesus' voice, saying, "You haven't even tried."
So I applied to one school. Got in. Quit my job. Started school, found another job, freelanced. Went into debt for the first time in my life.
Time keeps rolling. Life happens. A boy drops into my life, out of absolutely nowhere.
Now it's almost September again - I have never escaped the school-related re-start of the year - and I'm looking back and thinking about where I'm headed.
And I still don't know.
"I thought I'd be going into second year with more clarity, not less," I said earlier this week, "I feel even less certain of what I'm doing with my life, why I'm in school at all."
"It's part of your journey. You need to be there," he reassured me. And it's true. I do feel the need to be there. I just don't know why.
But do we ever know why?
Allow me just a moment of philosophizing. Can we ever know what we're really doing or what the outcome of our decisions will be? Is it possible to say, "This. This is the purpose, the goal, the undeniable result."?
I don't think it is. I think we can't predict the future, and we can't control those around us (heck, sometimes we can't even control our own selves), and there's no way we can know how everything will work together to shape our lives.
I find this both terrifying and comforting. Terrifying, because I need something (someone) to trust in amidst all the unknowns. Comforting, because if I can't control the future, perhaps I can relax a little and enjoy the ride. Focus less on what my big career will be, and more on what I can learn right now. Less anxiety about networking, more attention on loving. Less pressure to perform, more freedom to be me.
That doesn't sound so bad. Maybe I can do year 2 after all...