Wednesday, February 22, 2012

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I don’t pretend to know a lot about psychology. Honestly I still can’t spell the word in one try. But I did learn a little about his guy Erik Erikson. Besides having a humorous name, he assigned stages in a person’s life concerning personality. Adolescence (age 12-18) is a time fixated on finding identity vs.role confusion. I can testify to that.
 
I wondered if stepping back and examining my own life in terms of identity would interfere with the growth of my personality. And then with fear of overthinking in too many dimensions, I stepped back into my head. But the idea was planted and I connected it with the mention of college and the tinge of stress I feel under the muscles I try so hard to relax. No it’s not the biggest issue in my life and I know this blog post is not super fun, just let me get it out there.

The other day we were talking about how our dog has a purpose in life and I half-jokingly asked, “Dad, what’s your purpose in life?” He answered seriously with “I guess it’s to make people happy, to keep the people around me happy.” My first thought was, “spoken like a true salesman,” and my second was, “wow, I sound exactly like my mother.” But I know my father and he’s not a doormat. I love the fact that his purpose in life is not totally about himself but about the people he loves.

I have to bring up baking. I just took a bread pudding out of the oven and watched the bubbles fall like watching a child’s breath slow as I sing him to sleep. I can’t deny that I’m happy. I can’t deny the desire to do that the rest of my life. In middle school I wrote a poem about what happens to a ball of cookie dough in the oven. Last week I spent a day at a cake decorating competition and though atmosphere felt stuck up and awkward at times, I can’t wait to do it again. So this counts as a dream, right?
It brings me comfort to hear that about 80% of ingoing college freshman don’t declare a major and about 50% of college students change their major at least once. (from sites such as this, and this)

At the source my fear is choosing a path that I am interested in and then years down the road, looking at myself in the mirror and thinking ‘you could have done better’. It might be cliché but I want to make a difference in the world, whatever that means. Here’s my logic: music, dancing, baking, I can indulge myself with those hobbies as I get older and follow another career. But I guess by pushing aside those things, I am still left with a world of options and no map of where to go from there. So I come back to not eliminating anything.

For now I don’t want to live with the purpose of avoiding regret.

2 comments:

  1. Aloha Kelsey! You know, it’s hard to find the right career! All these decisions, and important ones to boot, are really complicated. Finding out your passions and pursuing them is a tough thing to do because sometimes what you want to do is what you can’t do. (financial, talent, work, etc) Personally, I have absolutely no clue what I want to do (well I do have a clue, I want to work with technology), but I really don’t know what I CAN do, what EXACTLY I WANT to do, or just what I want to major in. Your sites kind of got me thinking about this (oh and the first site isn’t linked to anything/it’s not working). I thought it was interesting how many people don’t know what they want to be yet. (I guess I’m one of those people, or will be…) I also like how your bread pudding analogy was fabulous! But it made sense. You don’t have to figure out what you want to do yet, you’re just a sophomore, ENJOY HIGHSCHOOL GIRL!!! But yeah, pursue the things you like doing and see what gets-cha where. All in all, you’re awesome, and WOOOOO-yeah. ~Jess

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  2. Jess-
    Thanks for the tip about the link, I think I got it fixed! That bread pudding was basically my inspiration for this piece so I’m glad it got through to you. One thing: you better believe I enjoy high school! Thinking through this identity stuff to get it out of my mind has helped relieve some stress and it’s been a great couple of weeks. Time will play out and I know there’s a lot in store for both of us! Thanks for reading and understanding.

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