Too many times in my life I’ve been accused of being lost and wandering aimlessly, be that professionally, romantically or spiritually and quite frankly I don’t appreciate that sentiment. So what if I don’t exactly know who I want to be just yet. I’m young and I’m allowed to take the time out to decide if something is for me or not for me. I should be able to do that without the pressures of others telling me to make a decision right now. Granted I’m 24 years old and should probably have my life figured out by now but I’m sorry I just don’t. Growing up the way I did, very sheltered and kept from learning through experience, I missed out on the opportunity to make mistakes. Mistakes are a part of growing. I’m not saying you can’t learn from being told but what if you’re not told everything? What if your parents forget to tell you something or what if what worked for them doesn’t exactly work for you? Life isn’t black and white as much as people would like to believe that it is. Life isn’t like choosing either salad or fries. It’s just not that cut and dry. It would be a relief if it was because then we wouldn’t spend so much time “wandering”. But wandering gets a bad rap, it can do a lot to help you discover who you truly are. This might come as a shock to parents everywhere but they can’t help you in discovering who you are. If they could, we wouldn’t need our 20s to find ourselves. We would just skip over into maturity and be upstanding citizens of society. No kid truly grows up to become the person their parents always wanted them to be. If it were so, there wouldn’t be so many broken kids and disappointed parents. Being told what to do simply won’t help you in discovering your own thoughts, beliefs and ideologies. Our ideology guides us in life. It is the driving force behind all that we do. From whether we take a job for money or passion to deciding if we want to have kids someday. Our internal belief system is shaped through experience not words on a page or the words of our parents. That’s the truth in its plainest context. We are individuals with free thinking minds not sheep in a pasture. We can’t be expected to live a singular life set out for us by our masters. That’s just not how life works. Yeah there are some ultra-traditional folks who live life that way and it probably works out for them. Although I’m not too sure how happy they are but then again I hear ignorance is bliss. I tried to live according to the direction of my mother and elders but found I was making myself miserable trying to live someone else’s life. It was literally a life I thought I was supposed to live because someone else told me that everything will work out for me if I live this way. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work out. I was constantly switching up trying to do like everyone else instead of doing like me. Now this isn’t an issue of spirituality, as some of my readers may assume, it’s an issue of self. There is a person deep down inside all of us that has to decide who we are going to be. That person is our self. Self is made up of, as I stated before, our thoughts, beliefs and ideologies. To be told who your self is, beyond an innate understanding that comes from within, is to mask self. Imagine trying to fit a square into a circle of similar size. It’s practically impossible, you can try to chip away at the angles of the square then you might be able to get it through. In the process you have also changed the shaped of the square and now it most likely resembles the circle. Why would you do that? The square is a pretty amazing shape all on its own. It’s beautifully unique and a lot of other shapes get their shape from the square such as the rectangle, the parallelogram and the rhombus. That’s saying something for the square. As cliché as it sounds, it’s important to be your own unique self by taking the time discovering who that self is. Our parents can’t tell us who we are but life can help us discover who we are. So go out there and live life. Experience it as much as you can, as richly as you can because you’ll never be as young as you are right now, right this minute, right this second.