“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

We ask kids who are barely out of elementary, or sometimes even toddlers who’d only gone to pre-school.

Kind of funny that kids can answer the question in less than five minutes when grown adults could take years to even hint at an answer.

Perhaps even a bit ironic and just a tiny embarrassing when you think about it. Most of us are intelligent adults, our age is roughly four to five times that of mere children. With that amount of experience and smarts, surely we’d find out what our purpose in life is, right?

Unfortunately, it’s the opposite. “Real life,” you may grumble, “isn’t so easy.” That is definitely true. In the mind of a child who romanticises much of the world with their imagination, they won’t understand the harshness that isn’t found in fairy tales and superhero comic books. Job decisions, or perhaps even choices in general, get harder to make once you grow up and lose your naivety; for now, it’s just a matter of whether you want the strawberry-flavoured lollipop or the lime one, but soon enough, it’ll be about if you’re going to college or just start work immediately.

Either choice will pave the rest of your decisions and may possibly set the rest of your life in place, literally a life-changing decision. As an adult, you need to take that into account before you could even know what you want to do, or you’d be giving yourself a sense of false hope, right?

Then there’s all kinds of problems too, like conflicts in interest (“I want to take Business but I’m good at drawing too…”), ever-changing decisions, multiple dreams and hobbies, and they’re all ones that you want to do now.

But on the other side, there’s another load of issues, such as a lack of interests, second-guessing your talents, and just simply giving up.

For the first set, that’s good. At the very least, you have diverse choices and, really, all you need to do is pick one through weighing out the costs and benefits and then the process of elimination. But then again, fate isn’t always cut-and-dry, even after all that, you may still be in a tug-of-war between two (or three, maybe even four) careers.

I’ve never dealt with a serious life crisis before so the only thing I can say is to flip a coin. But that’s shit advice so don’t take it.

Instead, you can ask someone else more familiar with jobs, such as a career counselor, or simply someone who has experience with the job you may want (it’s never a bad idea so there’s no surprises when you enter). If you still don’t know what you want to do, then you probably do need to flip a coin.

If you’re in the latter set, then that’s not exactly the best position to be in. But don’t despair, my mom always said that you can turn whatever hobby you have into a career, even trivial-sounding ones. Whenever my mom said that, my brother would always say, “But my hobby is gaming!” Though it was meant more as a joke, he wasn’t too far off. There are gaming tournaments, gaming is now treated as a professional sport, and my teacher once sold his high-leveled character in World of Warcraft for hard cold cash.

Though currently limited, gaming can be a profession if you pursue it, and if that’s possible, I’m sure so many other things are too; you just need the will and the right idea to do so.

But if you’re stuck, you have no hobbies or talents to speak of, then you can always find one. I’m no motivational speaker, I can’t help you as a therapist other than reciting self-help books, but I believe that if I don’t do things outside of my comfort zone, then what is a life even for? You don’t have to help others, but if you cannot find that one activity that truly gives you happiness, then living might not be for you.

Easier said than done, sure, but you could always try something near you. You don’t have to say, “Oh gosh, I must try skiing next week and then I’ll climb Mount Everest next month!” You don’t need to do anything drastic; I’ve just taken up knitting as a small hobby, which consisted of just really getting off my ass and driving to a store. It may probably stay as only a hobby for me or as bit of pocket money if I decide to sell my scarves and hats, but it might be attracting to you as a full-time job.

Or you could go with gaming anyways, that’s still an option.

But one last thing, don’t lock yourself in a room and go, “But mom, a blog told me that I can make money from gaming!” Please don’t, or your mother will send you to a very technology-free camp or you may suffer terrible consequences.


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