An article from on moving forward when you don't know what's next.

I Don’t Know What’s Next. Can I Still Be Okay?

Even if you don't know your next step, you can still be okay & enjoy the process. |

There’s something my mother once told me about living a successful life. Follow your heart, she said. Eat at least one apple a day, and don’t be afraid to go where the wind blows.

Just kidding, she didn’t say any of those things. But she did tell me to take my magnesium.

Because I’m an English major turned part-time freelancer turned finance “professional” (hahaha.) my idea of success looks like a leftover Jimmy John’s sub for breakfast and not accidentally transferring $100k out of Mr. Winchester’s brokerage account into his dog’s IRA. I used to think I wanted to be a cat, but now that I know how rich people treat their children dogs I want to rescind my preference.

Anyway, I’ve never really had much of an idea for what to do with my life, but lately it’s become especially evident. It’s like reaching a certain age and realizing its no longer okay to spend weekdays on your parents’ couch eating Cheez-its in your flannel pajamas til 4 p.m.

Or to pack your raggedy stuffed bunny on international vacations.

(Unless you’re going through a breakup. Or a job loss. Or PMS. Also, that age is twenty-five.)

Even though I’m married now to The Best Huz Ever and his talented self is a full-time teacher with benefits and steady pay, I’m still a floundering part-timer trying to figure out my next step. So far, my main goals in life are to love others well, get a job at the intersection of my passion/talent and others’ needs, and personally track down every. single. person. who knew better yet did NOT tell me to choose a major other than English. That’s a great major! they said. You can do so much! they said.

Acutally, I have been able to do quite a bit so far. I’ve had moderate success as a freelancer (only side effects: unsteady income, no benefits, and near-constant hustling), and I’ve even landed a job in finance, of all things. I hate numbers! How cool.

But lately the struggle has been real because I truly don’t know my next step. I have options, and I’ve been given opportunities I didn’t even ask for, but somehow I’m still trying to figure it all out. In the meantime, here’s what I’m doing to stay as calm and okay as I can: 

Maintain a Passion

I love to write. It’s why I’m here. It’s why I was insane enough to bleed my sweet little heart right into a poetry chapbook for other people to read. I really believe that if I don’t have a creative outlet, I’ll go crazy. I think that’s probably true of everyone. Write poetry. Play golf. Bake scones. Make sea turtles out of chewing gum. Whatever. Just find a passion — something that refreshes you and makes time fly — and maintain it. Everyone needs an outlet.

Talk It Out

Although I’d like everyone else to think I have it all together, I repeatedly find that it’s better to be honest than impressive. When I can tell someone that I’m afraid because I still don’t know how to adult properly, I have the opportunity to connect with that person. Maybe she feels the same way, or maybe she has advice for me. When I hide that stuff, I risk losing that connection. (And potentially, a free cup of coffee. Teehee.)

Trust God

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life” (Psalm 143:8). Trite as it may sound, when I look back on how he has taken care of me in the past, I have no reason to doubt he’ll do the same in my future. He has really come through for me, even when it seemed like he wouldn’t. He is faithful.

Keep Working

Ugh, I hate this one. Seriously — how am I supposed to keep working when I don’t even know what I’m working toward? I don’t know, but I just keep getting up every day, doing my job for that day, and believing things will only get better and clearer. I know I have to become faithful in the little things before I can advance into bigger and better things.

Have Fun

I would go crazy if I didn’t take the time to relax and have fun occasionally. We all would. Sometimes I really just need to sit in the sand and read a good book for a while, you know?


How do you handle life when you don’t know what’s next? Let me know in the comments below!


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