What do you want to be when you grow up? I hope you never find out.
Though I used to regard life as a puzzle that had to be figured out, I now realize life is best lived when we don't try to tame it, when we don't try to "figure it out."
Rather, part of the joy of living is allowing experiences to reveal new facets of our personalities. It is reinventing ourselves many times over. It's seizing change in order to more fully become who we are.
Here are a few truths I've learned (which became clearest when I was experiencing full-blown crisis):
- We never find ourselves
- We never figure out what we want to be when we grow up
- We never become settled in our own identities
Here's what I mean: after a death in the family, a widow shows a strength and tenacity she never knew she had. The birth of a child reveals a nascent compassion and patience in a man. A move to a new country reveals a passion for cultural studies. A job loss forces a breadwinner to risk everything, and find out how intelligent and entrepreneurial he is.
Yes. We should search to find ourselves, but we should never become complacent, believing we've figured it all out. Not only would we miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow, it would be just plain boring.