I Don't Have A Four-Year Plan

Friday, June 12, 2015


I'm interrupting the regular flow to talk a little bit about life: just real life.

As my Junior year just recently closed, a lot of people have been asking me if I know what I want to do next. College? Internships? Majors? Jobs? As a person with very little skill at decision making, and even smaller idea of what I want to do after next year, answering these questions is, to say the least, difficult. "Well, I'm not sure...I might want to go to a college of the arts...and I'll still be blogging and writing, of course..." You catch my drift.

There's nothing wrong with people being curious (and let's be honest, it's a good way for the neighbor you haven't spoken to in a year to get to know you a little better) but there comes a point where what you want to do with your life starts to become "you" - and that gets a bit frustrating, you know? Things like graduation ceremonies and senior-centered events become awkward when everyone's bio reads "plans on going to (such and such) college in the fall..." and all you can think of is "Carmel likes fashion and wants to pursue some career with it." Hrm.

I know I've got time to sort that out. And still, to some extent, I know I'll never have full confidence one way or another, and whatever decision I make will ultimately be on faith. That's life. And how do you sort out what you want to do with your life if you don't know who you are?

I want to be graceful, a hostess, a woman of God. I want to travel and learn and soak up knowledge. I want to school people in the art of beauty and makeup. I want to style people for red carpet events. I want to absorb fabrics and textures and colors and maybe someday create my own things. I want to write books that bring people to their knees. And from there, not from the pressure to "have a career" or "go to college" or "plan a life" - from there, I'm building an idea of what the next right step is.

Do you know yourself? How do you cope with people asking about your next step? 

14 comments

  1. Carmel, I feel you right here.

    I just graduated high school and experienced all of those questions so many times. I pondered my path and wrestled with impractical dreams verses also wonderful realities. Go away and spend crazy money getting a degree in ballet or stay here and pursue business with the goal of owning a ballet studio? Try for a professional ballet career? Where does blogging come into play? What about a future family? So many questions raged on this indecisive head, but one thing I always knew and still cling to: God, the Creator of the world, writes my story. Ultimately, it's not about me and my desires but about Him and His kingdom. And he writes the best stories. Trust Him. Trust Him.

    Hannah from Grace in Everything

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, Hannah! I've contemplated dancing with a company or going to a ballet university, but I'm not sure I want to get into the complicated politics of the competitive dance world. There is baggage that comes with everything, I'm learning: no one career path is going to come without hiccups. The question, then is not if the road has bumps, but whether or not they are worth the destination.

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    2. You put this so poetically! Yes, the ballet world is tough, but there is also hard work in anything worth pursuing. Professional ballet just wasn't for me.

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  2. Oh, that can be very confusing, and I hope you are able to find a path on your time without feeling too pressured.

    I am a very indecisive person, but when it comes to my plans for college and a career, I am extremely decisive. It actually baffles me because the things that I am most indecisive about and most agonize about are little things. I really want to get a PhD (even though I'll be in school for a long time-gah!) in Electrical and Computer Engineering since I want to be an engineer, but I also want to be a part time novelist. I'm not sure how practical that is, but I'm holding onto that dream pretty tightly. Oh, and another priority is visiting my friend's future book store often. When she graduates from college she wants to start her own independent book store and be a novelist as well. I'm making her promise right now that her book store is going to be extra cozy and cute and rustic.

    Anyways, I went off on a huge tangent there. Don't worry too much, Carmel. I'm sure you'll find yourself eventually. And I truly think that you have the power to write stories that bring people to their knees. I am honestly astounded by the snippets of my writing you share on your blog. I actually thought you were older than you actually are (how are you only a junior in highschool?) because your writing sounds so mature.

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    1. Ana,
      You're so sweet! I appreciate your understanding, and I love that you already know what you want to do past highschool. I admire a brain that can understand engineering; I have never had a head that enjoyed math and science. I think for me (as I said to Hannah) it is not a matter of not having any ideas for my future as much as being unable to tie them sufficiently, and I am very easily a jack-of-all-trades, master of none!

      As always, I am grateful for your kind words. :)

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  3. I just finished my Junior year of highschool as well, and I agree with you, there comes a point when you just want to inform people that you don't have your life together, and if they could quit asking, that'd be great.
    I pretty much just want to do theatre for the rest of my life but I struggle with telling people that. I thought I knew what I was going to major in until a couple weeks ago and now things are up in the air again. I guess I'll just walk forward until God closes a door. That's all I can do right now :)

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    1. I love your peaceful outlook on what most people would find frustrating, Riley. Taking the next right step is something I think I need to focus on now, more than the big picture. One foot in front of the next... :)

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  4. I remember that so well, and oddly it's happening again. It took me two full years of thinking and praying to decide what I would do after high school. Now that I'm a senior in college, I keep getting asked what grad schools I'm looking at or what career I'm hoping to pursue, and the truth is I just don't have that all figured out yet, and I'm okay with that. :)
    Thanks for sharing, and best of luck as you make these decisions over the next year!
    -Lauren
    http://www.musingsofaflowerchild.com/

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    1. Psh. People and all their "whatareyougonnadonext".

      All the best to you as you take the next step, too! We're in this together. :)

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  5. I'm with ya. Anything and everything sounds interesting to me right now, how am I supposed to decide what I'm going to do with THE REST OF MY LIFE? It's impossible, I don't know what the future holds.
    I'm also plunging into Senior year (or, more like being pushed into Senior year), and it is confusing and stressful to be at this point already.
    I'm just trying to trust God right now to lead me down the right path.
    Good luck this next year! You're gonna rock it!
    Class of '16! Woohoo :)

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    1. Right?! Let's do this whole Senior thing with confidence in God and a willingness to give everything a go. XD

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    2. Also: the wisdom to be decisive. ;D

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  6. Yeah, when I graduated high school people asked this all the time. And I never knew the answer. It was fairly similar to yours. I just started telling people, "I don't know," because I got sick of explaining myself to the whole entire world. And the questions do not stop after you're in college. You almost have a sure guarantee that anyone old enough to still consider you a kid is going to ask you what you plan to do with your life. I guess it's consider a good conversation starter? I don't know. It does get irritating sometimes. But I realized I could tell people something that I thought I might do. I have no idea what God has in store for me, so there's really no way I can tell these people who think you have to have life down to a 't.' Life is too unpredictable for that. And the mature people will know that. So I just tell them I'm an English major and no, I don't intend to be a teacher. I won't lie. I dread talking to some people, because I know they are going to ask and it's all a broken record now. But I try to answer graciously and answer any of their other questions until they get bored of me and move to someone else. I feel like a horrible person sometimes, but the "what are you going to do with your life?" question is the question I can't stand the most.

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    1. Life is unpredictable. I love that you've pointed that out, Ashley. I've actually taken to telling people "I don't know," as well, and though they're often taken aback, it's as well a good conversaton starter: why I don't believe life should be planned too far in advanced...;)

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