The vast majority of my friends are in their mid twenties to early thirties and their lives are littered with questions. Questions of whether they are on the right path, whether they will ever find true love, whether the love they have found will last forever, whether it is possible to find both contentment and financial security in jobs that they have chosen, whether they will ever find the courage to leave jobs that they hate to pursue what they love, whether they will be good partners and good parents, whether they will have continued health so that they are able to raise their children, whether they are fulfilling their life’s purpose, and whether it is wise to wonder about anything that swirls around in their minds at all.
The questions we ask at 20 are much different than the questions we ask at 30, but we all seem to be consumed by questions about our lives and if we’re doing things right. The funny thing is if we just keep on living, life has a way of providing the answers to the questions that we all ask at one time or another. Zora Neale Hurston, who I have great respect and adoration for, eloquently pens in her 1937 Their Eyes Were Watching God that “there are years that ask questions and years that answer.” There is great profundity in her words.
The questions that individuals have about their lives, and life in general, in their twenties are often debilitating. You can get lost for hours in a tsunami of thought obsessing over life, and love, and spirituality, and purpose. Yet it seems that when you veer closer to 30 than to 20, that although the questions do not stop, they do become less frantic and frenzied. The decade of life that exists between one milestone of an age to another provides insight that was not foreseen in years past. The older we become, the more clarity we receive.
If I could give my younger self any advice, I would look her square in the eyes and submit the popular colloquialism “you gotta chill.” I submit that same advice to you. Whether you be 20, 30 or beyond, the years will answer the questions that burn in your heart. Don’t waste precious years that you can never retrieve stuck on questions about the past, present or future. Instead, get busy crafting and creating the reality you want for yourself today. If there is something that exists in your life that you are unhappy about or uncomfortable with, the power exists in you to change it. Do all of the things that you want to do. Live your life to fullest and without a single regret. Fill your existence with the experiences and discoveries that you’ve always wanted to have. This life of yours is the only one that you’ll have and you should live it in a fashion that when your sun sets people will say of you what Hurston said of her iconic character Janie, “She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.”
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.