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Existential Dilemmas

posted by Lauren March 24, 2017 0 comments

Have you ever found yourself at a proverbial crossroads?

Ha! Who am I kidding? Of course you have because you are a human.

Well, I am firmly straddling the line of WHAT THE HELL IS MY NEXT STEP!?

I’ll give you a quick timeline.

In June of 2016, I graduated with a self-created degree in Medical Humanities. You see, I couldn’t “make up my mind” as to which major I wanted to focus on. That is because I am a multipotentialite. So, I took my vast smorgasbord or classes, from nutrition to human sexuality to religion and neatly tucked them into their own self-identified category of “Medical Humanities.” Pretty slick that my university would let me do that, huh?

(Tangent: if you want the most beautiful campus this side of anywhere and massively supportive professors, consider Oregon State University.)

Shortly thereafter (graduation, that is) I threw myself into applying for the Fulbright Scholarship. A spectacular award that essentially pays it’s awardee’s to travel to any country they want, research anything they want and at its foundations, supports awesome human being to be even more awesome. Win-win all around.

Except I wasn’t awarded. So, there went 6 months of toil down the drains. (Not really- valuable experience, you know?)

Next on the timeline was my rejuvenating month long bliss-fest at The River Cottage in stunning Sunriver, Oregon. Sunriver is aptly named as there is a lot of sunshine… and a gorgeous river. Did I mention I got paid to live there? Thank you, Universe, for connecting me with cat lovers going on vacation!

Ok. So there I was. End of November 2016. I had graduated the spring prior. Spent 6 months fastidiously working on the best application I could muster for Fulbright, only to be denied (stiff competition: so I can at least rest assured that someone brilliant is doing a lot of good for the world right now on my cosmic behalf-thanks mystery person.) then took a decidedly deserved month long sabbatical.

Well. Then that month long sabbatical continued when I moved back into town (Bend- as if Sunriver is really that far away. All of 11 miles). What was supposed to happen is as follows: I was supposed to magically manifest this bomber all-consuming 2-month long project between The River Cottage and moving to Austin, TX with my significant other who is finishing his MBA there.

Considering I didn’t need to get job, financially speaking… I didn’t. Nor did I manifest that project that was supposed to occupy my time in some meaningful fashion. Namely, because I didn’t even lift a finger to manifest that. I busied myself with preparations to move to Austin. I can honestly tell you, I didn’t need 2 full months to do that.

(Tangent: I am currently reading a book by the title of ‘Crossing the Unknown Sea, Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity’ by David Whyte. Who, by the way, is a complete stud and I highly recommend you check his work out. This book came into my possession in cosmically good timing. I’d like to share a passage:

To my mind, one of the great disciplines’ of any human life is the discipline of memory, of remembering what is essential in the midst of our business and busyness. The human soul thrives on and finds courage from the difficult intimacies of belonging. But it is almost as if, afraid of those primary intimacies, we have unconsciously created a work world so secondary, so complex, and so busy and bullied by surface forces that embroiled in those surface difficulties, we have the perfect busy excuse not to wrestle with the more essential difficulties of existence, the difficulties of finding a work and a life suited to our individual natures; the difficulties that would lead us to an older, intimate, and more humane sense of belonging.

Well damn, David. Way to hit the nail on the head in a far more eloquent fashion than myself. Tangent end.)

Fast forward to now, March 23, 2017. I sit in a 603 sq foot apartment in Austin, TX roiling in yet another existential dilemma. We humans are second to none at putting ourselves in these situations. My dog, Radar, never seems to encounter such quandaries.

ENTER: Proverbial Crossroads

As a result of inundating myself with questions such as, “What talents do I have to offer to the world? What does the world need? Where do my unique aptitudes intersect with the great needs of the universe?” Whoooooa there Nelly. Calm it down. I decided to try this on for size,

What is one ACTIONABLE step I can take today?


Ahh. Ok. I can take a bite of that one. I realized that environment, sexuality, and community are all highly motivating and important factors in my life. So.

My one actionable step today? Call up Primero Health and volunteer my cheffing services as their cooking class teacher and nutritionist.

Self five!

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