Settling on a name for this blog was quite the process. I wanted something that communicated the message “We’re all confused and it’s alright” in just a few words. But I also wanted it to encompass the humor, sadness, joy, loneliness, hopefulness, fear, complacency, excitement and all of the other emotions that I have personally felt throughout much of my adult life.
At first I thought about using “Degree and Directionless,” touching on the concept that once many of us graduate, we are often thrown into ‘the real world’ (perhaps like myself, without a job) and without knowing what we want to do and where we want to go. However, I don’t know if this holds true for most people because I think a lot of us are initially excited to launch into our careers, as we have just spent the last 22 years preparing for this moment. And while at first we may have some direction, ambition and motivation, it’s only after working for a few months or years that many of us start to question, ‘Am I on the right path?’ So, I scratched that one.
I also liked “Privileged and Unprepared” as a potential title. This title admits that feeling indecisive and confused about our future because we have so many opportunities can be a privileged person’s problem (say that 5 times fast…). However, even with the privilege of having the opportunity to go to college for example, many of us may be unprepared for what lies beyond. Even as a business major, I certainly did not feel prepared when choosing a 401K plan or when I was suddenly let go from my job due to budget cuts and needed to file for unemployment. So yes, another potential title; however — privilege is a toe-the-line subject that I did not want to overstep and offend anyone in the slightest. I do think these titles are snazzy and will likely be the basis of single blog posts, not necessarily an entire site.
As I’ve tried to have a more realistic approach as I think about my future, I realize that while I may be overwhelmed and confused, this is really the beginning. While it may seem challenging to decide what I want to do, where I want to live, etc., I have come to accept that it probably will only get harder when I have a significant other, family/friends and kids to plan and think about. I am not an easily satisfied person, constantly changing interests and coming up with new ideas.
Therefore, what I am certain of is the uncertainty I will continue to face.
And that is my reason for starting this blog. I want everyone to feel ok about this uncertainty. Even with the MOST supportive family and friends one could ask for, I have battled a rollercoaster of emotions over the years, confused on what I want, what’s next, questioning virtually everything. I feel like there is this innate pressure to follow society’s established norms of timelines to certain phases — success in careers, marriage, kids, etc. Nowhere in the Life for Dummies manual does it say “Have continuous meltdowns of what you want, if you’re happy, what’s next.”
The last phone interview I had, the recruiter asked me what I was looking for and where I wanted to be in 5 years. I replied honestly and said “I have no idea, I’m still trying to figure it out.” While I thought that would be an easy disqualifier, the woman responded with “You and me both.” Surprisingly, I had several more rounds of interviews with the company.
While our newsfeeds flood with images of our peers’ engagements, promotions, babies, first home purchases and other life milestones, it can be so hard to avoid comparing our own situations and where we are at in life. But as I’ve recently opened up more to friends, family and strangers about these feelings of confusion, cluelessness and complacency, to my surprise, most people have echoed many of these same thoughts back to me — even the ones who just posted their happiest selves on social media.
So, ultimately I settled on “Confidently Clueless” the notion that if there is one thing I am confident about, it is my cluelessness and I will wear it as a badge of honor because it is nothing to be ashamed about.