I’m a huge fan of The West Wing. With quick-witted banter, social implications of governing and a nod to smart people, Josiah Bartlett and his team kept me interested season after season. I often felt his mantra, ‘what’s next’, was similar to my life. When one holiday/vacation finished, I asked, ‘what’s next’? When one school event was planned with another on the back burner, I asked, ‘what’s next?’ And more often than not, in my analytical brain, I would ask myself the very same question, ‘what’s next’? For me, it was more, where am I heading, what’s to come, where do I want to go or be or even what is it I wish to accomplish. Although the question was a constant, the fluid thought process yielded a constantly changing answer. Where was I heading?
Today, I get asked the same question from friends and family, this time it often means, ‘where’s the next adventure’ or ‘will you be passing through anytime soon’. I’m still not truly sure of the answer to that analytical portion of the question – are you? Do you ever think about these questions or even what might be your own answer?
I ask my husband these questions all the time. ‘Do you think other people have these conversations? What do you think their answers are? Are we really that far from ‘normal’?’ I’m not sure that we actually discuss the ‘where are we heading’ question that often, but a general direction is often on our minds. I’m sure we have friends who don’t have this conversation. Set in their decisions from an early age – the life they’ve chosen, carved and created is exactly the one they still want today. There are those in our lives who have chosen a path and maintained the direction. There are those in our lives who’ve yet to decide on one. And then there are those in our lives who have tried out a few paths and have stayed the course for a few years deciding if it is the right one for them. I’m thinking we fit more into the latter rather than the former – but, who knows where life will lead.
Do you have these thoughts or discussions with those close to you? Do you wonder about changing direction or heading somewhere new? It doesn’t have to be a new avenue in the geographical sense, but maybe a metaphorical or even literal one? I certainly have yet to figure out the answers, or when I feel I’ve reached one, the answer often changes. I think I’m okay with that. Maybe it means life is constantly changing, or I am. Perhaps that fluid perspective is the right one for me. It might not be alright for everyone, but for me, I think it says something. Who knows where or what ‘what’s next’ will be….I’m certainly interested to find out.
Where are you in the ‘what’s next’ conversation?