The ‘so what now?’ movement
It seems I have inadvertently joined a cult. Well, not so much a cult but a movement and it wasn’t until I was well within this movement that I realized I was even a member. In fact, you may have joined without knowing also. Members are generally aged 25 and upwards, have taken the traditional life path for some period of years and now find themselves missing something or starting to question themselves and their choices. Or put more simply, the most obvious way to know you have joined is if you find yourself reflecting on your current life and thinking ‘so what now?’
If this sounds like you, then welcome to the ever growing ‘so what now?’ movement.
With my London life coming to an end some 8 months ago, I found myself persistently in conversation with people about life. Perhaps I was looking for inspiration? Validation? Someone to guide my very lost soul back on to some sort of a path because I had been getting deeper and deeper into the proverbial forest with no sign of anything remotely path-like. I was becoming more lost by the minute. Instead what I found was that the more the topic of life was broached, the more people would open up about their dissatisfaction with their current place. Not because they had a bad life by any means, but more because a majority of us follow what is considered the correct way to start our adult life and then find ourselves not surprisingly unsatisfied. The people I was confiding in are well educated, in stable relationships, with good jobs… all the things we are lead to believe we should aspire to. Yet all of these people felt the same level of lack of creativity, happiness and freedom within their life that I felt. And I believe it was around this moment I joined the ‘so what now?’ movement.
Having been on the road for 8 months now, what I have found is that the ‘so what now?’ movement is not just limited to my immediate social circle but is rampant all over the world. I have been inundated with stories from people who on paper have it all and are yet looking for more. To change their life. To shake things up. To take control of their path and forge it forward instead of plodding along on the one they were guided onto so many years ago. To create their destiny. I have heard stories of doctors, lawyers, judges, healthcare workers, economists (and so many more) leave it all behind to become artists, self-employed gym owners, hostel owners, English teachers in foreign countries, musicians, writers, photographers… the list is endless. And all because they felt the same sense of dissatisfaction and were brave enough not only to ask the question (in case you haven’t got it yet – ‘so what now?’) and actually do something about it. It has been a truly inspiring 8 months.
When confidently announcing I was heading off to travel to let my life sort itself out, what I did not share was just how much doubt there was lurking in my mind. I was fearful that I would take this time out and be no better off for it, that I would be just as lost and have nothing to show for it other than a big dent in my bank balance. That my path would still a distant dream and nothing close to a reality. However within the last month or so what has started to emerge very clearly is exactly where I want to be building my new path. I have been inspired to retrain from my profession with very clear aspirations as to where my future will be heading. For the first time in years I actually know which direction it is I want to be heading in and I have the ‘so what now?’ movement to thank. To those who shared their stories which inspired me, to those who validated my feelings of discontent and more importantly to those who encouraged me to stop wandering in the forest looking for a path … and instead create my own.
I wish I could share the feeling of not only the joy but the relief that comes with realizing I am no longer lost. But there simply are no words. Instead just a feeling of utter contentment as I start to chip away at my path and create it to be my own. Asking ‘so what now?’ is one of the most confronting yet life changing conversations I have had with myself and I am grateful each day that I somehow fumbled my way into this movement. If you find yourself asking this question, be content in knowing you are by no means alone. In fact you are part of the most wonderful and inspiring movement you may experience in your life journey! I hope to see you too, digging up your own path furiously and simply owning it. Because there will never be anything more inherent to you than the path you choose for yourself. So make it a truly unforgettable one.