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What am I doing here? Here in this specific location in this specific time; and also here in life on this planet.

I am currently sitting in a motel room in California. The sole purpose of this short trip was for a potential job – nay, career. The envisioning that took place in my imagination was so different than reality. After applying for this position, I received an invitation to take a competency exam. (At this point, it sounds a lot like my UN job-trying experience.) I felt with my qualifications and understanding/knowledge and amiable personality, I would be an instant sensation … well, not really, but I figured I would very much be in the running, on the short list, quite nearly a lock. Upon arrival at the testing center, reality struck. At least 60 applicants were there as well … for two positions. Welcome to the world of competitive hiring.

The exam was easy; that’s not my concern. My current grounded and less optimistic thinking is how many other qualified candidates will also be on the not-so-short list. So what am I doing here, sitting in a motel room, ready to fly back tomorrow morning? For what did I spend so much money? When I think about this I very nearly feel like crying.

Now for the existential what-am-I-doing-here question: What am I doing in my life right now? Sometimes I think that I’m not really an adult – a grown-up person making and living a big girl life. I fell clueless about how aspects of life work; I feel dependent; I feel like there is so much of life that I don’t understand and am not ready for. I recently bought a vehicle (before my faithful friend Mr. Pathfinder got to his last leg). Big girl decision. But when considering that I want this vehicle to be with me for a good solid running of ten years … ten years?! How can I even fathom long-term decisions when I don’t have a clue what one month in the future looks like?? Growing up I was such a planner. I had everything figured out. I embrace change, really I do. But as soon as I know the change is real, it has already found a place in my plan.

At some point, this all changed. I have no clear plan. I can’t pretend to know what tomorrow looks like (although it should include me on two planes in three airports flying back to Texas). Is this just a product of growing up and getting wiser? I feel like maybe I’ve gotten everything backwards – that most people don’t have any sort of plan while they are young, just moving through life on the whim of their heart; and when those adult years of responsibility come about, people are set for the long-haul through the rest of life and family and home and career and what-have-you.

I mean, what are we doing, really? Does anyone do more than just pretend to know? I am a woman of specifics and clarity – and I have neither. But maybe nobody ever really figures out that anyway – until you live in it, I suppose.