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planning my life - advice?


man_in_mudboots

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i'm seventeen. in the spring of 2008, i will graduate highschool. for a long time, ive been sort of passive about what happened to me, sort of going with the flow. I realized ive been almost distanced from what was happening to me. as if i was a spectator. anyway, about a week ago, for some reason it occured to me that i was actually in charge, more or less, of my life. i now have no idea what i want to DO with the rest of my life. my parents have steered me towards definitely going to college after highschool, but i'm not so sure i want to and i'm not sure what i want to get into if i do decide to go to college. I'm pretty smart; ive got alot of interests and talents, but, i think, none important enough to base my life around, and even so i'm not sure what to do with any of it (for instance, what the hell am i going to do with being able to play the banjo and conga drums? and calligraphy?) ive been considering, only half-seriously, joining the military, for no other reason than to give me some time to figure it out. i've also considered joining a commune for a while (my mother was thinking about getting into one in the early seventies); and/or getting into the renaissance fair circuit. you always hear these things like, 'follow your dreams' and 'dreams come true if you make them come true', and sometimes i think, 'thats stupid. youve got to be realistic - grow up.' but then i immediately decide thats a defeatist attitude. i tell myself i could never do something ordinary, that i couldnt work in an office or anything, but then i think maybe thats what everybody says.....right before they go to work at an office. i dont want to be filthy rich, but of course i also dont want to have to live behind a dumpster, either. my parents of course want me to be happy in what i decide to do, but i doubt THEY would be too happy with me living in a commune. and, how do you tell your parents youre thinking about joining a commune? then the question is, after i leave the commune/renfaire/military/whatever, what then? can i get a job after that, if i went to college before? what if i decide i no longer like what i went to college for? or, what if i get stuck in the renfaire circuit and have to keep doing it until i die? i dont know if anybody can ease into a more normal life after leaving a commune or something like that. how the hell am i supposed to make plans about this stuff?

what about you, reading this? assuming you are an adult, tell me: did you plan your life? if so, how did you decide what you wanted to do? did it come out as you planned, or completely different? are you happy with it? do you wish you'd made different choices? do i need to wake up and quit dreaming? did you have a similar expericence in suddenly realizing you had to figure this stuff out?

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