Why Can't I Find Life's Cheat Sheet?

I don't know shxt, and there's nothing I hate more than that.

Answers are worth more than money. They'd solve all the world's problems. Most importantly, they'd solve all of my damn problems. Every last inner quarrel I have with myself about the way to approach a challenge. Or not approach it. Foreshadowing outcomes before I prioritize my workload. Putting a timestamp on my patience. The best time to take a leap of faith. The common void in these situations? Answers, answers, answers. As elusive as Mariah's vocal prowess right about now. 

It's like, when people ask me what I am, what I do, where I want to be, how I plan to get there and my ultimate goals, I can never hit them with a straight answer in under five seconds. I stop and fidget, trying to encapsulate my dreams and hopes and swirl of ideas running through my mind a mile a minute into one concise sentence. It usually comes out as a stammer of inaudible words, then "a lot" or "everything." 

And to an extent I'm telling the truth. In a perfect world, I will have my hand in more than one industry and will have accomplished a lot. If all goes as I daydream, I will have served as a top editor at a print or digital publication, be dabbling in freelance photo projects, and have a decent side life as an independent artist. I will have produced at least two books: one novel/biography/memoir (when my life story actually matters) and a book of photography. Mind you, this is meant to be in a lifetime, but I can only (prayerfully) see as far as 10 years from now. I have a plan without actually having a plan. So when the question comes around, in a bumble of words, ultimately I want to be a professional person-who-is-great-at-many-things.

But maybe the real, real truth is that I don't freaking have a clue. 

To this day, I still have not successfully ranked my passions and discovered my true calling in life. My niche. I don't know what I excel at, consistently. I do a lot of things (well, mainly 3) things very well. But I couldn't tell you which is my THING. What I wouldn't mind doing forever. I can't pick just one. And I never thought that was much of a problem until this year. I always considered it being "ambitious." There's something alluring about being a multi-hyphenate. Something elevating. Something respectable. But my bubble got popped when a journalist alluded to the fact that it's something unrealistic.

I visited a family friend's church for a special service where an award winning hard news journalist was the guest speaker. So naturally, she urged me to come with my mother to the service to network and hear what he had to say. Before he began his keynote, I was personally introduced to him as a journalism peer. He asked what I wanted to be ideally. Naturally, I paused to gather my thoughts before beginning my "do everything" ramble. When I was finished, he looked at me square in the eyes and said (paraphrased), "I can tell right away by the shiftiness of your eyes and your pauses that you're having self-esteem issues and you actually don't know what you want." Well damn. Then he proceeded to tell me about how lowly one of his mentees thought of herself in the industry and how she's working and still has to find herself. Disclosed her name and everything, and I'm very familiar with her work because this industry is pretty small. At first, I took so much offense to him telling me that within one second of meeting me. You don't know me. You're no shrink. How dare you put a measure on my potential because I didn't fire off one career I'd like to stick to for life?

But now that I'm in my feelings months later looking at all the crap I've done that's really not amounting to as much as I'd hoped, I'm wondering if he had a point. I won't say I have self-esteem issues when it comes to my professional life, but, like Sway, I really don't have the answers to this thing called my life in this time frame called the future. Sorry, Ye.

And by the end of this post, I still freaking don't. Only thing left to do is play this:


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