Just Another New Age Opinion Piece on the Rest of Your Lives

Emily Nolasco

Emily Nolasco

“What do you want to do with the rest of your life?”

The age-old question that never really gets old, but in all honesty should be retired. Permanently. Seriously, this question has outlived its usefulness, especially in the age of today where you go to school for one thing and end up doing something completely different. Especially in the age of today where teenagers graduate from high school then go on to switch their majors at least once in their college career.

Another point to consider: do we ever really know what we want to do for the rest of our lives? It’s not even punching-out time and I don’t know what I’m having for supper. What of substance am I going to accomplish tomorrow?

Being a sophomore in college, I have to constantly live through and weather the storm of the question everybody hates but still seems to ask. “So Emily, you’re a sophomore in college. What are you majoring in and what do you want to do with it for the rest of your life?” I mean, I get it. I do. It’s small, “easy” talk. Emphasis on the easy. Because for the person usually asking it, it is. The stereotypical person, who usually asks such an annoying but goodhearted question with the right intentions, is usually a person of wisdom. Okay. I’ll stop beating around the bush. It’s someone quite up there in the number of years they’ve spent on this earth. I was still beating around the bush wasn’t I? Sorry. Habit. But for the other participant in the conversation, i.e. me, it’s a question that haunts me day and night. Hearing it on repeat, like a broken record. Tormenting. Completely and utterly tormenting. So do I do certain things that I normally wouldn’t do just to avoid such an awkward conversation? I’ll never ‘fess up.

At first you hear the inklings of the all-consuming question in middle school. It gets a little more pronounced each year. And by the summer before you enter college or for some of you, the summer before your senior year in high school, it’s completely distinguishable. It takes over your mind and consumes your every waking moment. The worst part is, some of us never really know. We can never pin down an answer. So our answers are constantly changing and we begin to sound wishy-washy and indecisive. It’s not my fault that sixth-grade science class was way harder than I expected it to be! Or else, I really would have become a marine biologist. Can we just forget my lapse in judgment already?

In my humble opinion, I think we’ve got it all wrong. That question and its stupid pressures and assumptions should be kicked to the curb. To word it like that, like we are superior beings who have control over the everyday things, and even bigger, the rest of our lives is so…I don’t know…ignorant of us? Yes. I believe the word is ignorant.

I know, I know. “But Emily, you do have some control, and have a decision to make regarding your life.” You’re right, inner self playing Devil’s advocate, I do. Or do I? Here’s where I bring in my religion, which is Adventism, btdubs. Ellen White hit the bullseye when she wrote these words: “The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought.” Mercy. Preach on Ellen, preach on! (That nifty little nugget was found in Steps to Christ, chapter 5 near the very beginning for those of you wondering.)

So. What exactly does this true quote have to do with this one-sided conversation I’m currently having? Oh yeah. In my religion, the way I was raised, taught, and then studied for myself, one must surrender their will to God’s will. Always. That, in essence, is surrendering any form of control I thought I had over my life to the one who had it the whole time in the first place. But I digress.

Sure, God gave me free will, but once I decide to give him all of me, I am His and His alone, to do with as He pleases and as He bids. Call me antiquated, but that’s the way my mind works. So the whole idea that we should know what we want to do for the rest of our lives is, to me, slightly ridiculous. Who’s to say I’ll even live out five more years? Each day I live out on this earth is a gift from my Heavenly Father. So here’s the question I think I should be asking instead:

“What are you, (enter your name), going to accomplish for God today?”

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