Today I’m going to write about a very difficult, terrifying, nearing topic that is unfortunately something we all have to worry about at some point in our lives. Unless, of course, you’re a person who is just going to spend their lives watching Netflix and eating soup out of cans (no judgment to these people). I am currently at that tricky age where I’m not quite a high schooler yet I have outgrown middle school. My past has defined me so far- of what I have made of myself in my 14 years in life. Right now, my present defines who I am. But now it is slowly changing. In just a few months, my future will define me. The future. Something I have much control over yet I also have no control at all. I could plan my whole life to become something and then… boom. I could change my mind in an instant or, an unthinkable event could occur.
Let me just say it: The future is inevitable.
We do not fear the future, yet we fear it more than anything else. Yes, I can be terrified that something cataclysmic will happen or I’ll get into a car accident or I will lose my phone or whatever. The future is ominous, true, but it is also the ultimate escape. The future contradicts itself, because we can be equally as concerned about awful things happening to us as much as we fantasize about wonderful things happening to us. The problem is this:
A large majority of people, specifically in my community, don’t have many plans for their future. Let me rephrase that. They have their dreams of the results of their futures, but they have no plan to actually get there. A lot of people believe that their dreams will just be handed to them. Like, one day they’ll wake up and BAM they’ll get into Yale or be magically discovered and become a famous actress. This is a calming, common way of thinking that many enjoy and actually believe will happen. And I admit, for some, it actually sort of does. This way of living is cheery and bright and shiny for us as human beings, to believe that we will one day not have to work for anything or actually even try anymore.
It’s a magical way of thinking. It’s just not the truth.
We spend so much time as imaginative human beings fantasizing about the future, believing that it will be spectacular and perfect. We spend so much time just thinking and daydreaming about it, that when the future actually arrives, we have spent so much time imagining it that we never even did it. This is what scares me. This disturbingly near reality is what we don’t like to think about- the getting there. No one wants to have to face all the realities of growing up, the problems, the conflicts, the boring things, the hard things. But unfortunately we must.
We must deal with the planning, the hard work, because once you find your passion, you have to live for it. If you really want something, if you know it’s your dream, then you have to do everything possible to get there. It’s terrifying, it’s hard, but the satisfaction that comes along after is surely worth the work. Achieving your dream is a priceless thing. For me, at least, it is the ultimate gift. I would rather work my ass off to feel that feeling, to do what I love, instead of living a mediocre life in a career I have no interest in, even if it gives me more money. I know what I want my life to be, and I fantasize about it all the time, but I also know I have to work for it. So, yeah, I’ll have to work a whole lot harder, read a lot more, spend my summers at medical programs instead of going to the beach and partying, but I would rather do this. Because for me, it is so insanely worth it.