When I told a family friend that I was planning not to go to college, he tried to backpedal any judgment by asking kindly if I was going to “find myself.”
Now that I’m getting ready for a new (and quite different phase of life), another friend dropped the term “soul-searching” to describe my next move.
“Finding myself”. “Soul searching.”
There’s something very Eat, Pray, Love about both of these terms, and I say this with no judgment to Elizabeth Gilbert. But I hate them both.
It’s not that the phrases are useless. There is a time and place for finding yourself and searching your soul. But the prevailing cultural idea that consciously doing something other than a traditional career must be some kind of existential crisis is annoying.
Maybe traveling the world, choosing outdoor work, or eating, praying, and loving is the answer to being lost. But maybe it’s something you can do when you’re “found,” too. Risk shouldn’t be something we keep on the shelf just for moments of crisis.