It’s no secret that I like to create art. There’s something wired inside of me that enjoys throwing colors around and moving them into shapes and images. I’m a creative and creatives like to create stuff — simple as that.
Recently I’ve found myself knocked back down to a blank canvas again. I’m speaking metaphorically, in reference to my life. I thought I had a few things lined up, a secure future with a good guy and a great job, but all in an instant it vanished.
How does it feel to wake up and find yourself back in the middle of the ocean?
On one hand, I can swim anywhere I want. I can go any direction from here — up, down, east, west — I could jump on a boat or go scuba diving, it’s all open from here. But on the other hand, it’s terrifying to think I have nothing to lose, nothing to hold me down or give me direction.
I remember feeling this way after college. I had a degree and the world at my feet. But the truth is, people don’t thrive when we have a surplus of options. We thrive when we have to make a smart decision out of two or three realistic options. It’s part of what is wrong with my generation but we don’t have time to go into that discussion.
Thankfully, after college I read a book called “The Defining Decade.” In her book, Dr. Meg Jay talks about the psychology behind this frightening sensation. It’s exciting to think you can do anything and so the excitement usually causes indecisiveness because a decision means saying no to other open doors. For many young people it is most helpful to make a list of the realistic options in front of you. When we get overwhelmed with the vast majority of options it is important to remember there aren’t that many options that are actually achievable in the present moment.
For me, I’m taking this lack of direction as an opportunity to fill some blank canvases — both metaphorically and literally.
Reach Haley Hoover at firstname.lastname@example.org or view photos with her blog at www.thesparklinghippie.com.