What to Do with ‘What If’

Copyright Creationswap, photo by Brad Castaneda.

Copyright Creationswap, photo by Brad Castaneda.

Am I where I’m meant to be?

I wonder sometimes if I should take a crazy chance and do something ‘amazing’. Have I missed opportunities? And is God happy with the way I’m tracking? Is my life accomplishing anything?

These questions popped up for me again this week. It’s mostly just because I’m thinking about a trip to America for a writer’s conference next year. Of course, to see everything I’d want to see, I couldn’t do it in a two or three week holiday. I’d have to live there. Which raises the question … should I live there?

After years of watching New York on TV and in movies, it seems like an amazing place. How can I live my life without experiencing this? How can I experience it unless I live there?

I also spent last weekend researching TV writing, which is a job that looks really awesome. But I’m 23; if I want to act on any of this, it needs to happen in the next few years.

Usually questioning like this would lead to turmoil and a great inner debate. I have a great job—is it crazy to toss that and go overseas to try new things? But if I don’t take a chance, am I a scaredy-cat?

It’s a testament to how God’s been changing me, that I cruised through this week with barely a stressful thought, despite the questions. He’s burned Philippians 4:6-7 in my brain;

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I prayed about my questions, then happily lived my life while I pondered them in the back of my mind.

After a week, I have a few conclusions:

  1. I am open to God’s leading. If he really wants me in the US, he’ll tell me. I acknowledge that a desire to go can be God’s leading. Right now this is more of a ‘what-if’ exercise. If that turns into a real desire to go, I’ll consult God and decide.
  2. I watch too much TV. A big part of why I’d like to go is because of the glamour. Everyone talks about how awesome New York is, etc. Take the glamour away, and I’m suddenly not so committed. I found a great website this week called ‘Life After College’ which shows the lives of college graduates and is searchable by job and location. They write about what their daily life is really like—no glamour—and even post pictures of their apartments. The ones I saw work really long hours and their apartments look nothing like the one on Friends. Nuff said.
  3.   I actually love my life here. As cool as NYC and America are, the older I get, the more I fall in love with Australia. Plus I have the best housemates and family ever.
  4.  Books are my passion. As cool as writing for TV would be, I don’t care about camera angles or any of that stuff. I care about the story.
  5.   I have kinda lived life, half-expecting some ‘happily ever after’ movie ending to happen to me. You know, I’ll marry a prince or make it big with my writing or wind up living someone interesting (like NYC). I find that the not knowing, the potential for something great to happen, is exciting. I would sometimes look at people whose lives had ‘peaked’ (in my view, anyway) and think, ‘Wow, it would really depress me if that potential for something awesome to happen wasn’t there anymore.’ But let’s face facts; less than 1% of people would have those ‘ideal lives’ that I picture, and once you achieve that status, it’s not as fulfilling as you thought. The masses of humanity are just normal. I like to write about things we all experience, so why would I get annoyed that I’m just normal too?
  6.  I feel like a chicken because I haven’t taken a crazy chance, and instead I’m ‘settling’ for a normal life. But I know that’s not right. It’s not like I want to be an actor or anything. I don’t have any crazy dream to take a chance on, except for my writing, and I’m already doing that!
  7.  My contentment and purpose is found in God. If I’m where He wants me, I’m not ‘missing out’ on anything, because the action is happening right here! I wouldn’t matter more to God if I was a Hollywood writer or a stay-at-home mum trying to write novels while wrangling her kids. The world’s idea of ‘important’ is a lie. It’s God’s opinion that matters.

So there we go; I questioned something and found my answer, all minus the usual stress! Thanks God!

Now I just  have to organize this trip…

 

 

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3 comments

  1. Enjoyed reading about your search for an exciting life. I think travelling while you’re young is important. I am travelling now in my 60s, as I was a mum in my 20s. Still a great experience, but I am not as agile as I was in my 20s.

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