Living Without Lighting
"What we need to find out" Graham said shifting in his armchair, "is what you're passionate about. Tell me, what do you love to do?"
Sitting on a couch on the opposite side of the room, I allowed my eyes to wander as I awaited for a response to come to mind. The therapist's room is rather small and rectangular, and the distance that we sit from each other gives us each a portrait-sized viewpoint of the other. Not too much space, but just enough to examine our features and body language. My neurons fired away but no thought came to mind. As is with most hardball questions in therapy, I stared at a corner of the wall as I helplessly tried to find an answer.
"I like my journaling", I replied. "Recently I've gotten a little bit into astronomy. I'm waiting for my drone to be replaced in the mail". Although not said in that exact fashion, after making those points I began to realize that he was looking for a deeper answer. One that I couldn't wrap my head around, a cognitive blind spot that had been lost to the past.
Noticing my plight, Graham circled back with another point. "Let's get in touch with your fifteen year-old self when he started journaling. What were your values then?" What he didn't know however was that my journal from then was primarily composed of edgy rants, and true reflection was rather limited at that age. I had to dig deep, and after another episode of silence I could only find one answer. "Authenticity, I guess". Through the six-year gap, this virtue was the only one that I could bridge between the past and the present. Even still, I find it alluding me from time to time.
My whole "career path" is a ruse. The environmental major that I've chosen to study is merely an appeasement to my parents, and a means to keep myself fed by the time I graduate from college. My passion for it is minimal, and so far I've slipped through the coursework using google and last minute studying. Anything is possible when your classes are online. When people ask me what I'm going to do with my life, I take out the script and recite it as enthusiastically as I can. Even still, it's hard to do so without a glazed look of indifference on my face. Such is the problem my therapist and I are attempting to fix.
He tells me that I'm by no means at the end of my rope when it comes to figuring out my ideal career, and that I can always change my major once I get to my new college. A good point, however I feel the clock is ticking and within time- whether it be monetary or personal- issues will arise and I'll have to come to a conclusion. I must use this time in my home town exploring my interests as much as I can. While I may never find the "ideal" career, perhaps I can find a focus of study that I appreciate more yet still holds promise of success. I simply can't imagine myself spending my day job crunching numbers, analyzing data and enjoying it while doing so. It may take extra work, but perhaps the ultimate goal of this sobriety journey is to find and forge my own path.