At What Age is It No Longer Cute to Be Lost?
The Mission’s resident psychic/astrologer/badass Jessica Lanyadoo gets booked months in advance by San Franciscans seeking help with everything from figuring out their love lives to communicating with their pets. If you have a burning question for Truth Talk with Jessica Lanyadoo, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check back on Wednesdays to see if she has an answer for you.
Four years ago, I lived in SF, was about to head to NYC for b-school, and couldn't ‘see’ what I was doing in my life. Well, I'm 30 now, unemployed, $200K in debt because of my fancy degree, and more lost than I was at 26 – and I'm jobless. Aside from building a time-machine, which would be uber cool, how do I get unlost at my age, when it’s no longer "cute" to not know what you are doing? -AR
The pain in the ass about being in your thirties is that you’re accountable for your choices in a whole new way. Unfortunately, many people respond to that pressure by taking the conservative route. While you may feel desperate for a quick fix, be wary of taking the kind of “practical” advice that may have gotten you in this mess to begin with! You don’t say in your question if you spent $200k to find out that you hate business, or if you’re inspired to use your schmancy degree. Luckily, either way my advice is the same.
If you’re not independently wealthy, you most likely need to secure a job that may not address the question of your life’s purpose, but will help you pay off some of your debt and get your survival needs met. So that’s step one. Let your ego go and get a job that’ll pay the bills until you figure out the big stuff. That will also take some of the urgency out of your investigations.
You’ll never be as young, and with as many possibilities in front of you, as you are now! Don’t waste time feeling like you’re running out of it.
Here’s the hard part – what to be now that you’ve grown up? I kind of hate it when people say to “follow your bliss,” partially because of how vague and weird that sounds, but also because after almost 20 years of counseling people, I’ve learned that most of us are not driven by the desire for bliss. We are stubborn animals driven by our fears and our needs around survival. Ask yourself what you are being motivated by, and what motivated you to get this degree to begin with, AR. If fear is guiding you, beware! I wonder if your decision to go to business school was driven by your own vision or somebody else’s prescription for what your life is supposed to look like. Go deeper than your upset over not having the answers yet and your desire for time travel to get the kind of answers you can live with.
Now for the money shot: you have to figure out the single most important thing for you to get from work. Is it money, power, respect, happiness, satisfaction? There are many reasons to work, and you need to know yours. Don’t figure this stuff out because you’re 30 and want to look good to your peers. Do it because you deserve a life that you really want to live!
My close and personal friend the Dalai Lama says that the meaning of life is happiness, and that the journey of life is uncovering what makes you happy. Take the time to take risks that will lead you to happiness, even if it takes you your whole thirties to figure it out. You’ll never be as young, and with as many possibilities in front of you, as you are now! Don’t waste time feeling like you’re running out of it.