I'm 23 And I Have No Idea What I'm Doing

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My name is Thomas Kuegler, I'm 23, and I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing.

This is like career suicide, you know that right?

Ever since I graduated, I've stumbled through life like a pinball hitting every bumper, kicker, and whatever the heck else on the way back down to getting smacked back up by the flippers. That was a lot of jargon, I know.

Like pinball, there's also been a lot of loud noises attacking me from every direction on my never-ending journey towards the next major impact. I've had people belittle me, refuse to pay me, scratch their heads while interviewing me, and honestly just flat-out ignore me (after refusing to pay me, of course).

My best bet, especially in the past, was to just act like I knew what I was doing. Everybody else knew what they were doing, right? I would just step into the crowd (whilst whistling away) and pretend I was like them.

But after I took my (unrightful) place among this batch of obviously qualified people I realized something. As I got closer I observed that they themselves were sweating from their foreheads just as much as I was, and their eyes kept nervously darting from side to side, hoping that nobody would notice them, too.

I realized, quite quickly in fact, that nobody really knows what they're doing. If we did, we'd all be millionaires driving a Tesla to and from work every day. It kind of reminds me of this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote:

"When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers."

So what do we have?

We have a world of people who don't know what the hell they're doing. They give lip service, yet never come through when it matters. They shuffle papers and walk around the office all day looking important, but they're not half as useful as they're made out to be.

That's why I'm okay with saying I don't know what I'm doing. I know I can write, but when things come up in my life--like a speeding ticket, or a conflict with my friends--most times I don't know what to do. I guess there's 13,000 different ways to handle something.

I've recently taken up coaching at my old high school and I must say the whole thing overwhelms the hell out of me. I'm loving every second, but how do you maintain the proper level of respect without being a total jerk?

Well, if coaching is anything like my life for the past two years, I'll fail my way to success.

And that's really the point.

What's wrong with not knowing what you're doing? I could've avoided coaching because of this fear that I wouldn't be a good one, but we all learn in time.

The point is we'll never stop running into situations where we don't know what to do. When I ask my future wife's parents for their permission to marry, I won't know what to do. When I decide to buy my first house, I won't know what to do. When I have my first child, I won't know what to do.

Confusion will never leave us, but the bright side is it also makes us like everyone else. We're all bewildered. We're all coming to a fork in the road. We all don't know what we're doing.

But, in the end, that's what makes life so much fun.

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