I’ve always known what I wanted; from knowing at the age of six that I wanted the Pearl Beach Barbie doll for Christmas, up until knowing that I wanted to study medicine by the time I graduated high school.
I always knew what I wanted; I wanted that strawberry ice cream covered with chocolate syrup (Hershey’s, no imitations) and colored sprinkles, I wanted the whole original collection of Harry Potter books on my library shelf, I wanted to win that Spelling Bee in fourth grade and I wanted that stripped black and white shirt combined with the gold-plated earring I bought a week before.
Of course I didn’t always get what I wanted, but if I didn’t receive it or viewed the results, I would persist and persist until I finally got it.
I never was a spoiled child or a teenage brat; I knew that I couldn’t get everything I wanted the way I wanted and by the time I wanted it. That helped me develop patience, goals, focus and determination through time, which made me realize that in the end I could get the things I wanted; I just had to work hard and believe in myself.
Everything on the path of my life has been going A-OK…until I hit the quarter-life crisis.
I turned 21 years old and it was like I instantly forgot what I wanted. Do I want the crop top or the buttoned up shirt with those jeans? Do I want the typical Pasta á la Bolognese or that new Mushroom soup I haven’t tried? Do I really want to be with that John Doe boyfriend of mine or am I better off with that scruffy bohemian friend I’ve always had a crush on? Do I want to be with a friend as in a sentimental way? Hell! Do I even really like men? …girls are very attracting to me too….
This is the first time in my life where I don’t know what I want. These questions were haunting me during my sleep, during my showers, during my classes…I would wallow myself in bed thinking and thinking, just to fall asleep and wake up the next morning with more and more questions and doubts.
Was this me? Am I who I think I am? What if I’m changing?
I talked about these concerns with Mabel, a psychology student and writer with whom I was starting to make friends with, and between all the things we talked about, one thing she said stuck in my head: “You don’t always have to know what you want; it’s OK to not know. Everything will find its way by itself in the end”.
After that conversation, I’ve been sleeping better and taking long baths while singing to some Coldplay songs. I thank you Mabel for making me realize that I don’t need to know what I want; and it’s totally OK. No one’s waiting for me to decide over the amount of subjects I’m going to take this next semester; I don’t have to know whether I love someone or not; I don’t have to know what would be my next haircut or if I like men or women.
Life is not perfect and neither are we. I don’t have to know it all, especially now as a young woman trying to find herself in the real world; trying to build her own beliefs and personality. I don’t have to know what I want. I have faith that the universe would help me figure it out someday. Meanwhile, I’ll just go back to my long showers and library studies for my finals… and you know what? It’s OK.