Apparently I Don’t Know What I Want

After spending a ridiculous amount of time attempting to fill out the flower petals for an exercise from Richard N. Bolles’ What Color is Your Parachute, I have concluded that I must simply move forward with my reflection. I do not have all of the blanks filled, and frankly I am not entirely satisfied with the ones that are.

In performing this exercise, I have realized that I do not have a clear vision for what lies ahead. I like to think that because I am currently situated among a group of individuals who are graduating in a few short months, I am allowed a tiny bit of leeway given that I still have till the end of the year. Realistically however, I should still be considering my options – and this assignment acted as a wakeup call to do so.

I started off strong with petals one and two as they felt relatively straightforward. To put it simply, I enjoy working with motivated and inclusive individuals in an equally motivating and inclusive environment. If I had to guess, many of my peers’ lists would be similar as the desire for our basic human needs to be met while working is universal. I also approached the geographical petal rather confidently as I would like to begin my career in a major city in the Northeast. I know this answer is broad (and likely stereotypical), but it is something I am sure of.

Petals four and five, which ask about my favorite knowledges and preferred salary, feel rather foreign to me at the moment. I thought it might be easier to operate from the opposing perspective, instead listing what it is I do not want, but that backfired as well. When applying for college, I swore to anyone who asked that I would never attend my local university. Thanks to the pandemic, I did just that…and I don’t regret any second of it. Similarly, in my sophomore year of high school, I was adamant that I would never be an English major…and we all know how that ended up. With one full semester left, this is where I am meant to be. In other words, I really have to stop using the word “never” when it comes to my future – which makes this exercise even harder.

My response to petal three, in which I listed my transferable skills, is neither enlightening nor disheartening. It honestly feels rather basic. I know that if I took the time to consider what actually makes me stand out, I could come up with a solid list, but for now it reads much like a google search. I am not sure transferable skills are meant to be profound, but there are only so many ways to say that you are detail-oriented and a quick learner. The one positive that came from this section was that I learned that you can market just about anything as useful for the workplace.

I am not sure I even have the heart to discuss petal 7 – outlining my mission in life. Despite employing phrases like “encourage independence and ambition” and “supporting change and straying from the norm,” I don’t think have the words to describe my life’s purpose yet. I understand that as an English scholar I am supposed to be eloquent and effective in my writing, but this is a question that inspires rambling. To say that I seek an escape from my cognitive lockdown (a notion I have mentioned in previous blogs) might be the best answer I have at the moment. In learning to think deeply and freely, I might spark a chain reaction that introduces me to what greater purpose I might serve.

This reflection is rather frantic and disorganized, much like my outlook on the future. This exercise added to the stress and need for contemplation regarding my desires. Perhaps I will continue to add to and revise my flower as things become more clear. As scary as it seems, one day I will surely have an answer for each and every petal.

One Response to Apparently I Don’t Know What I Want

  1. Prof VZ April 10, 2023 at 12:47 pm #

    One reason they might call it a “flower” is to embed the sense that many of us are still emerging from the soil that nurtured us so far (sorry to be cheesy). But really, I don’t think this exercise is a bout figuring it all out. It’s just a way to inventory what we know, and what we might want to know more about, in the future. And even if your “skills” section seems basic, recall the alumni roundtable where some of the most basic stuff–writing well and clearly, being a generous in-person presence, ability to work collaboratively–were actually quite rare in the working world! I appreciate the honesty here!

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

Skip to toolbar