Chaos and the Unknown vs the Mundane and Predictable

A constant tension in my life is summed up by Allison Vesterfelt in her book Packing Light, “As scared as I was of chaos and the unknown, I was equally scared of the mundane and predictable.” By the time I was half way through college I began to feel a serious angst when looking forwards to my future. The fear I was developing was the fear of boredom. I did not want to live a life with a routine that did not excite me. I was afraid of being stuck in front of the television each night watching sitcoms or sports. I was afraid of doing the same thing every day. I was afraid of not exploring the world, and missing the chance to truly live. At the same time that I was wrapped up in fears of not having a life that I enjoyed, I wanted nothing more than the security of the predictable; to be comfortable in a nice house with a nice job, a nice salary, and no stress.
I was not sure what I needed to do to find a way to live a life that fell in the middle of my two fears.  As a sophomore in college I was active with coaching cross country and some basketball, and I was getting great grades in school, but I was not a complete person, and I was not sure what direction I wanted my life to move in.  I began to question my desires, and worry about the importance of material things in the absence of real relationships and fun people to share my imagined success with.  I eventually began to take more chances and I got involved with clubs and organizations. I started as a member of the Spanish Club and eventually grew to start my own podcast where I interviewed student leaders to highlight the cool things that students at the University of Nevada were active in beyond the classroom. This taught me about how important it was to take chances and put yourself in situations that are new and scary. All of the guests of my podcast found a way to go beyond the comfortable success they wanted in college to do things that were difficult, not always clear, and so often rich with relationships and new connections.
As I have moved forwards graduating from college and entering the world of the 40 hour work week, I am still working on understanding how to live a life that balances the chaos of the unknown with the mundane and familiar.  I have turned to podcasts to help me explore new areas, and have put myself in positions that will provide me with opportunities to explore. The real lesson that I have learned is that it is ok to allow myself to build a safe place and a home that can be predictable, so that when I do begin to branch out and explore, I have a place to return to, allowing the world to slow down around me.

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