First of all, congratulations. Contrary to popular belief, not knowing what's next means you’re actually doing a lot better than most people who do know.
Because here is the thing about having a set in stone plan: it is a crutch that people use all the time: I’m not happy, but I’ve completed some checklist for life, so that means I’m successful, right?
You don’t see it now, but that feeling of not knowing, feeling lost, this is special. So many like to think they have figured it out. And maybe through the eyes of someone who also took the proper path, they have. They have everything right on paper. They went to University right after high school even though they didn’t want to, chose a job right after graduating even though they disliked their program. Stayed at their job even though they hated it. Dated someone and eventually settled with them because, being alone is worse. They took the next step, and the next step, and the next step, thinking, well, this is what I have to do.
But at least it looks good on paper, right? At least at a dinner party they can say they completed all the things they're suppose to, because, that’s success right? At least they can fulfill someone else’s idea of life, what is expected, what is right, all the while never stopping to think, who the hell am I doing this for? They don’t know, they just know they have to do it. Every day they put so much pressure on themselves and then one day wake up depressed and don’t know why.
But they must keep going, they must fulfill the next checklist, because appearances. Because appearances. Their need to keep up appearances is killing them. They think appearances means something. They think fulfilling all these expected milestones means success, power. But it makes everything so limited. It restrains them from actually living, from figuring out what they actually desire. Never mind actually feeling happy, they don’t even understand what happiness feels like anymore because they have signed themselves up for someone else’s idea of how their life should be.
But, it looks good on paper, right? It sounds good in a conversation. It gives so many a temporary satisfaction of inadvertently saying they have it all figured out. But here is the thing about happiness: you are never going to find it without first being a little lost. You are never going to find it by limiting yourself with the principle that you have to do this or that, finish school by this time, get married all by this age, live comfortably by that age. You will never find it by having it all figured out.
Having someone else think and decide for you is so much easier than experiencing the sharp pains of self-discovery. You’ve taken the harder road. The road not planned out for you. The *gasp* road that’s unknown. If you don’t understand how special that is, understand it now. You have an opportunity to create a life that you actually want to live. Fuck good on paper. Forget having everything figured out.
Forget settling. Take off - to foreign places, countries far-away. Nights watching the stars on the Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives, days swimming in crystal clear blues and greens in the Whitsunday Island in Australia. Scuba diving in The Great Blue Hole in Belize. Festivals in Nepal, Boryeong, Buñol, Rio. Strap on a backpack, head to foreign landscapes, get lost, figure it out on the way. Have adventures that make ridiculous stories that you’ll remember forever. And you don’t have to take off to have adventures - some of the most fulfilling experiences are already in your proximity. Take the class you’ve always wanted to take, the little risks that you’re too afraid to make.
Because your life is filled with opportunities and you’re already so much further along than most people - you don't know what’s next. You don’t have everything planned out. You know there's something more and have opened yourself up to all the possibilities that this world has to offer - you have given yourself time, the time to figure out what inspires you. This is so rare. It’s brave. And I promise you, it will pay off.
Right now, you have no idea what’s next. And even though you don't see it now, it’s the best place you can ever be. So stop comparing yourself to those who have taken a safer route. You are meant for something extraordinary.