Before we begin, I want to give you some warning about SPOILERS in this blog post! If you’ve never seen “How I Met Your Mother” and don’t want to have any parts of the plot line spoiled for you, please come back and read through these after you’ve watched the show. If you’ve already seen it and would like to hear my opinions on what might be the best show I’ve ever seen, please read ahead!
In episode 28 of HIMYM, Lily gets hired on at Ted’s architecture firm as an assistant and begins dispensing “Aldrin Justice” to his boss, while Barney tries to please Marshall’s constitutional law professor in hopes of raising his grades.
There’s a lot to life, and when I was younger I didn’t have any idea what it would be like. Now, as a young man I can see that I still have no idea what is happening and I’m just trying to make it through with whatever energy I have leftover from the constant up and down of the world around me.
We have been told for years that it’s important for us to know what we want to do in life before we leave high school. I was told that if I didn’t have some kind of plan that I wouldn’t go anywhere and I would end up flipping burgers for the rest of my life by one (rather unpleasant) faculty member in the Elko schooling system. That being said, I think the joke is on them because I really enjoy flipping burgers. I also enjoy cooking all of the other things I get to cook while working at a restaurant. My favorite part is when customers send their compliments to me personally. That makes all of the grease burns worth the effort.
See, you don’t have to know what you want to do in life right out the gate. I knew when I was a kid that I wanted to be a writer. Then it changed to fireman, ninja (probably), I wanted to work at home depot. I wanted to be a carpenter, I wanted to be a musician, I wanted to be a carpenter again, I wanted to work in a pharmacy and eventually it call came back around to what I do every day.
I want to make people happy and I want to share stories. I don’t always do that through writing, though that is the first avenue I generally choose. It’s easy to tell a story with the way you’re living and to be honest with you, sometimes the best part of the story is when you have no idea what is going on but you know that there will be a grand conclusion somewhere down the line. I enjoy being thrown for a loop when I’m watching a movie or a series or reading a book. I enjoy the suspense of not knowing what will happen in twenty or thirty pages. I enjoy that same suspense in life, too. I recently ended a three month long spree of unemployment and the release of finally knowing where my next paycheck is coming from is comforting. It also helps to move my own personal story along. I need money to make these business ventures work out, and I needed to get a job to have money. Life is a story, and it’s up to you to propel it from one place to the next. The great thing about it though, is that you don’t have to see all of the steps. You just need to take the first one.
Eventually, like Lily, you’ll find yourself searching for something to do when you “grow up” and that’s great, but don’t grow up too fast. Don’t get locked down in one thing and live there forever unless you are sure that you love what it is. One of the biggest pieces of writing advice I’ve ever gotten is…
“Love the places your story takes you. If you don’t love the places, the people, the actions and the message, you are writing the wrong story.”
Life is a lot like that too. Just remember, there isn’t any pressure on you as long as you keep moving. Eventually, you’ll grow up and you’ll get a clearer picture of what you want to do. The main focus though, is to never give up.