It’s tough to not quote this entire piece by Sara Hendren:
Some things the young people in your life might need to hear:
1) It’s okay to factor a relationship into your professional plans.
The point is this: The people you spend time with literally co-create who you are, down to the near-cellular level. You’re building a life.
2) Making decisions can actually be a way to find yourself—not the other way around.
3) Ask yourself: What if everything you’re doing right now is exactly what you need to be doing?
4) If you’re really stuck but in fortunate possession of a job and health insurance: Get slightly more mental health support than you absolutely need. Find a way to make acquaintances with people who are much younger or older, a full generation’s distance in one or the other direction and ideally both. And: volunteering in your hyperlocal community will salve so many intra-psychic ills.
5) Here is the hardest thing for many people about adulthood: Staying awake. That is, resisting the somnambulance that will grow like weeds over any state of habitual life, excepting acute crises.
But above all staying awake is, as scores of wise writers will tell you: cultivating your astonishment. It’s easy in childhood and then bludgeoned out of your system through many rituals of schooling and cultural conditioning. But astonishment is the fuel for an expansive urgency in your actions, and cultivating it is the habit that builds the possibility for joy.
— Sara Hendren, “not in any particular order, and not exactly a gospel, but”, Mar 6, 2018
Remember when you were new and everything was amazing. How a child looks at a new experience: the first time they see a dog or cat or snow. Their eyes go wide and their heart races and they have to touch it and taste it and see it. Remember?
The first time you tasted ice cream; mountains rising out of fog; the sound of the ocean striking the land.
Butterflies and flowers; the sharp sting of hail on skin; riding a bike without a hand on the seat or extra wheels at the rear.