What am I doing with my life?

I don’t know what beat I’m marching to, but one thing is certain, I can march no other way. For a long time I have been following my own path, however unusual, with little thought to what was driving me. In fact, my motivations often changed on a daily basis. I always thought that I would eventually find something that I loved and wanted to devote my life to, something that would both positively impact the world and provide me with enough money to live comfortably. Now that I am 30 I’m starting to get a little worried that my chance may have passed me by. Sure, 30 is the new 20, but Malcolm Gladwell points out in his book Blink that it takes about 10 years to become great at something. Fine for those people whose parents had them learning the piano at age 8, but do the rest of us have to resign ourselves to mediocrity? I also read recently that people overestimate what they can do in a year, and underestimate what they can do in 10. Should I start planning now to be great at something when I’m 40?

Even if I chose to do that, I still haven’t figured out what it is I should devote my efforts to. I have never found that thing I can focus all my energies on, like swimming all day, everyday a la Michael Phelps. Rather, I see life more like a buffet; try a little of everything. Sure, I get pretty good at each thing I do, suggesting that I could be great if I chose something and devoted more energy to it, but I’ve never been the “focus on one thing” type. I would say I’m a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none, except that I have a sheet of paper that says I’m a Master of Science (a point which I find hilarious).

The one thing I can say for myself is that I always follow my heart. Actually, sometimes my heart just won’t shut the hell up. Which leads me to my current situation, wandering aimlessly through Africa. Well, I guess I have a few aims…

1) To show people that you do not need lots of money to travel,

2) To let people know that traveling is not scary! It’s magical and wonderful, and something everyone should do,

3) To learn new skills, and use the skills I have to benefit others through volunteering,

4) To take lots of cool pictures and videos in order to show my friends and family what the rest of the world is like, and

5) To learn more about myself and possibly find something to devote my life to.

I hope I have sufficiently justified myself. The last point will be a large part of the discussion on this blog, since it seems to be a problem widely suffered these days. In fact, I found a great article about the Quarter-life Crisis, which saved my life on one of my “freak-out” days.

If you aren’t convinced, maybe my online journey of self discovery will help you. Or maybe you can just laugh at my stupidity. In the meantime, go download some of my pretty pictures from around the world.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/maureenleemaloney/

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