For the past year or so, my toddler has had a phrase that endures through every language and developmental leap. While 'lellow' became 'yellow' and 'chiss' became 'kiss,' I find myself answering time and time again-
Standing somewhere- Are doing?
Eating- Are doing?
On a phone call- Are doing?
Wiping my butt- Are doing?
Honestly, sometimes I have no fucking clue what I'm doing.
Looking for your missing sock?
Trying to sneak some fruit snacks without you seeing?
Thinking about what's for dinner tonight?
Nope, sorry kid, I was having an existential crisis while I pretended to look in the fridge.
And much like my toddler (and myself), my clients also seem to constantly question what they are doing, what they are feeling, and what it means to exist.
The adult version of "Are doing?" is
What are you doing after college?
What are you doing next in your career?
What are you doing about having kids?
What are you doing next year? In the next 5 years?
Every variation of human ends up on my therapy couch absolutely agonized about the meaning of their own existence. It's normal, it's expected, but-
If you've ever been in therapy with me, this is the part of the session where I rearrange myself and state, "Ok so I'm gonna be blunt for a minute...
No one, not a single soul, knows what they're doing.
Sure, some of us are wired to long-term plan. Some of us have mastered the art of making decisions. Some of us have beautiful spreadsheets and planners and erasable calendars hung in the kitchen.
But as your friendly neighborhood neurotic Virgo, let me say:
It all goes to shit anyway.
If you're in that space where you don't know what you're doing, you don't know what you want, and you feel lost: Take a deep breath with me.
Let this be your mantra:
My value does not lie in what I'm doing.
I deserve to find joy one day at a time.
There is no such thing as having your life figured out,
Because I am not a puzzle that is meant to be finished.