Don’t Worry If You Don’t Know What’s Next
This article was written by Melissa Joy Kong for The Unlost
Your journey has molded you for your greater good and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” – Asha Tyson
It feels like everyone I’ve talked to lately is in a period of transition.
In and out of careers.
In and out of school.
In and out of their healthiest selves.
In and out of relationships.
In and out of love.
In and out of friendships.
In and out of faith.
In and out of town.
If I had to assign a handful of words to describe the overwhelming majority of conversations I’ve had recently, it would be these:
This is shocking to me, this recurring theme. Mostly because the last several months of my own life have felt like a complete upheaval.
Heartbreaking, at worst. Trailblazing, at best. Transformational, consistently.
I don’t know if it’s some freak coincidence. Or the law of attraction. Or if everyone in the world is operating on a collective wavelength that is stronger than any of our individual ones.
All I know for sure is that this feels like a time of transition for many of us.
So, this note is one of encouragement for anyone going through a season of ambiguity, uncertainty, doubt, transition, transformation. Myself not excluded.
I know this sucks right now.
I know you’d rather just know. That you’re anxious for perfect clarity. You’re ready to land a new job. You want to move quickly past the heartbreak. You want to complete things that are incomplete. You are frustrated because you feel so unsettled, lost, indecisive.
I really do know. You’re not alone. Everyone around you is fighting their own private battles, too.
We’re taught in our culture to seek out immediate clarity. Fix everything as soon as possible. Check things off our to-do list. Don’t get down on yourself. Chase after joy. “Good things come to those who work their asses off.” Stop procrastinating. The answers will come to you when you start to move. Move faster. Start making some decisions. Do what feels “right.”
Not that you need my permission, but just in case you’re waiting for a sign, this is it:
Fuck all of that advice.
You know what happens when you listen to those motivational maxims that play in our culture on repeat?
You lose touch with your inner voice. You know, the one that belongs solely to you.
You start to break promises to others and yourself under the guise that something doesn’t feel “right,” when really, you’re just avoiding the inevitable pain that comes along with transition.
You start to read self-help books instead of giving yourself the space to b.r.e.a.t.h.e.
You make rash decisions because you’d rather decide something than admit that perhaps the greatest lesson in this season of your life is learning to find comfort in the midst of delicious ambiguity.
You check the wrong things off your to-do list. Stuff that doesn’t even matter to you. Stuff that isn’t aligned with your values or desires.
You begin to numb yourself with food or alcohol or bad television or overspending on crap you don’t even want or need, because you’ve been taught to avoid pain at all costs and immediately gratify yourself instead.
You forget that some things will be massively incomplete in your life, and remain that way for some time. Not everything can be “fixed.” Once things are said, done, experienced, they cannot be taken back. Stop trying to erase things you’re meant to learn from. Stop trying to take a Neosporin stick to scars that make you more beautiful and real than you know.
You move faster, when what your entire body is screaming for is STILLNESS. Time to calm your heart and mind. Time to grieve the things you’ve lost. Time to do absolutely nothing for a little while. Time to take in the current season of your life. Time to process. Time to cry. Time to forgive. Time to love yourself again.
Everything you’ve encountered up until this moment is perfect.
I know that’s hard to see when you’re feeling confused, exhausted, heartbroken, anxious, and unsure. I really do know.
But I’m also learning that things turn out to be exactly what they need to be. Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. You won’t always understand everything that’s happening to you. Maybe not now, maybe not ever.
If you’re in a period of transition, you don’t need to be anywhere but where you are. It’s okay to take some time to savor nothingness. It’s okay to not know the answers. It’s okay to be unsure about what you want to do next in your career. It’s okay if you’re procrastinating about something. It’s okay to be going through massive amounts of pain.
Every job, relationship, friendship, family member, unfortunate circumstance, health situation, birth, death…
All of it is perfect. All of it is full of extremely important lessons that, if learned, will make you stronger, wiser, more open-hearted, more open-minded, more free, and more yourself than ever before.
All you’re responsible for is trusting that.
It all brought you to the now.
Now is right on time.