It seems like such a simple question. But when you don’t know the answer to that question, it’s something you dread being asked. It’s worse than a game of “Would you rather” because then at least you would have narrowed down the options to just two.
A part of me still gets a little panicked when someone asks me this question, but it’s getting better. I realized that rather than trying to pressure me, these well meaning friends and family members just want to connect with me. They want to know what I’m doing and show their support. So instead of reacting defensively because I am still figuring out the specifics of my life, I’ve been attempting to express gratitude instead. Attempting being the key word here.
But it’s started to change my whole attitude, because getting defensive in response to something that wasn’t an attack is not productive, it’s just harmful. I was inadvertently harming my relationships and myself by misinterpreting this question. Rather than allowing their attempt to connect with me to draw us closer together, I was pushing them away.
Instead of stressing out, which is what I used to do because I felt the mounting pressure of life decisions each time I heard this question, I am consciously pushing that aside and realizing that these people who care enough to ask the question are actually the key to my success. They are here to cheer me on in whatever path I decide, even if that path is currently undefined.