I don’t think we’re entirely directionless. For most of us, we can articulate what we don’t like, but it’s difficult to commit to something that we wholeheartedly like and wish to do for the rest of our lives. We have generic aims out there: we wish to be happy, we want to provide for our families, we see ourselves working in the financial sectors. Nice, good goals. We know what we don’t like: perhaps it’s science, and we don’t see ourselves working in the education sector, but we’re also circumstantially open to these things.
While I’ve a vague idea of my future, snippets of what I want, some more clear visions than others, I’ve been feeling rather divided lately. This division is rather problematic, it brings great discomfort, sadness, inability to tell others what I stand for, what I identify with, how do I create a coherent self without sounding contradictory.
I’m reminded of essay answers which we wrote in college: ‘it’s best to have an amalgamation of policies to solve this problem, to utilise the best traits of all available policies’. And now in university we learn that ‘problems can be solutions’ – jugaad urbanism/innovation, with empowerment, the poor can lift themselves out of poverty.
But we need to remember that there is a myth of complete, perfect solutions. Because these are complex, impossible problems. (The ‘wicked problem’ – problems are way too messy. A solution for one aspect of the problem will lead to other side effects, creating new problems, or imperfect solutions etc.)
I think this is a great problem for me since I am not particularly passionate about something, I don’t feel like I’m ‘on fire’ enough (merely lukewarm), I seem to not have clarity in what I want. Hmm for example, I think about how certain ‘entities’/concepts are related. Like there are many minimalists who are also environmentalists or even vegan. These are complementary lifestyles, but at the same time, I pointed out that there are contradictions, sometimes. E.g. if you are a vegan and an environmentalist, would you rather use plastic products or animal based products? The former may not be biodegradable but the latter is? Often I feel confused about what I want, what I stand for. Should I do volunteer work or should I work as per normal and give to charity. How do I then make choices, describe myself to others?
I need to remember that complementary/related solutions doesn’t mean that they can all be conducted at the same time. I cannot be, nor do everything at once. While I like all these ideals, it’s difficult to choose one over the other, perhaps I need to think more about what exactly I will decisively commit to.