Almost-no-longer-twentysomething. That’s how I described myself a month ago.
Since then, I’ve done some soul searching, some job searching and some Google searching. All of which suggests I’m more of a twentynothing.
Linked In shows me former classmates with fancy jobs at top law firms. Selection criteria for jobs I’d like don’t align with my skills and experience. Career blogs tell me that to get said skills and experience I’ll have to do a tonne of professional development.
I’ve said quite publicly that I want to change the world. Yet here I am: back home, doing nothing, being nobody.
I wasted 6.5 years at uni getting an honours degree and a law degree I don’t use. I wasted 2 years hanging out with randoms in Ecuador. I wasted 1 year in Bolivia instead of staying in my cushy editing and research gig.
The thing is, none of that time has actually been wasted – contrary to what popular thinking and culture try to tell me. They say those years were thrown away. You could’ve built a career. You could’ve been rich. You could’ve achieved so much. You could’ve been successful.
Before I knew Jesus, I judged everybody, hated peer pressure and hated just the concept of “cool” – but secretly a part of me longed to have the nice things the other kids had, look like the other kids. But Mum always explicitly or implicitly challenged that: Why would you want to be like everybody else? Would you jump off a cliff if everybody else did? (Yes, she has actually dragged the lemming analogy out on at least one occasion). She remains an unacknowledged, non-conformist (rebel!) to this day.
Ultimately, I must have embraced that spirit. There are many ways in which I’ve consciously and subconsciously determined not to conform with other people’s expectations.
I’d like to be Somebody, Someday. Confession: if I were a Sim, I’d probably have fame as my aspiration. Yet I’ve chosen to become Nobody – to not be Anybody you know, at least.
I think this is my way of trying to be like Jesus. The Ultimate Somebody who became Nobody to walk with all the other nobodies and give them a new identity. To show them on the Cross that each and every one of them is somebody to Him.
I’d like to be a nobody to reach all the nobodies in the world: the poor, the hurting, the weak, the oppressed, the lonely. I’d like to be a nobody so that instead of getting distracted by me, they see the Ultimate Somebody.
But I’d also like to be the nobody who gets your attention – and helps you see the nobodies around you. I’d like to be nobody so that they can be somebody to you.
Header image (added 2023): Zohre Nemati.