I’m at home tonight, alone on a Friday night, listening to jazz and doing some research.
I’m trying to use the Internet to find out who I am. I don’t think it works so well. Suddenly I feel just like I did my senior year of college, when, filled with hope about the imminent future, I’d log onto our home computer in my parents’ room and click on the career explorer site and try to figure out what I would do for the rest of my life.
In fact, I was so into putting all the pieces of the puzzles together right then that I’d invite my friend and future college roommate over, and we’d spend time on the site together, filling out quizzes about which career is right for us. The quiz would ask questions like “Do you like interacting with people?” “How creative are you?” and “Do you like driving trucks?” What?! Zan and I would look at each other and laugh. No, we did not like driving trucks. (Zan had just gotten her license, and I wouldn’t be getting mine for another four years.) We did enjoy spending time together, copying each other’s homework and talking about the future, though.
After pages and pages of questions, the quiz results came in: Graphic Designer, they told me. As for Zan, it was something similarly creative. But that’s only because she had the tendency of getting influenced by others, so when we took quizzes together, she’d put similar answers to mine, but were she alone, her results would be totally different.
Here we are, six years later, and we barely talk. I’m an editor; she’s in pharmacy school. How crazy life has it. What a change.
It took her a while to get into pharm school, longer than it took either of us to realize that there is no finite point of self-discovery. “Spend time now, reap benefits of knowing what you’re doing later,” we would think then. But everything then was simplified in our youthful minds. A + B always equaled C — how could it not?! Now we’re surprised to see D, G and even W once in a while. …
Is it that we’ve lost the simplicity of childhood? The spark that makes you clear headed? Have been growing up without us knowing?
Well, no, I still think the answer’s simple: I think self-discovery never ends, and you never stop questioning who you are and where you’re going. Because if you stopped, you’d be stagnant and stop going altogether. …