The unsettling truth of the future

crossroad train tracks

The other day, I had one of those “stop and think” moments when I was getting my hair cut.

I sat down, told the guy what I wanted and he set off, snipping and chopping away. Until he stopped and said:

“What do you wanna do after uni then?!”

And that was it. I mean, people have asked me that before and I’ve just kinda brushed it off because it wasn’t the right time to be thinking about it. In the past, I usually changed the subject, got on with things and said I’d think about that in the future. But that “future” is nearing and I have to face that question for myself. What do I want to do? And for once, I actually had no idea how to respond. I’ve done many spots of work experience and I could have easily just made something up, but I really had to think, search the depths of my brain for the perfect answer.

I replied, “I’m really not sure to be honest.” That was all I could say. It was the truth.

A puzzling look came upon his face, with which he said, “Really? No idea whatsoever?”

I was completely caught out, stuck on what to say and it suddenly became awkward. I know I’m only 21 (wow that’s the first time I’ve written that down, strange) but I thought that surely there is something in my head that knows. Surely there is some idea somewhere in my brain that knows exactly where I want to go. But I just couldn’t bring it to the surface and into words.

It wasn’t until I got home and looked back on the situation that I realised the sheer importance of that conversation. I think the main reason I don’t know is because I don’t want to know. The unknown element of the future is something that excites me more than anything. I’d much rather take the undiscovered path through life, taking every day as it comes and welcoming opportunities along the way than planning my every move.

I think the way life should be approached is with much enthusiasm and determination to succeed. If you don’t aim for the top, then you’re never going to be able to make it. Take every step with a pinch of salt and evaluate everything that you do. Critically reflect on the things that happen and build upon them, not everything has to be a negative. If you get knocked down, stand straight back up and think about why that happened and how to work around it.

This is exactly the thesis that I am adopting to my life and I hope many people feel the same. You may want to have an outline of the path you want to venture down in your life, but never be reluctant to go the opposite way at the crossroads, jump a few hurdles and go completely off-course. If life takes you that way then go with it. I heavily believe in fate and that everything happens for a reason, so if it happens then take it in your stride, embrace the change and love your life.

You only get one, so go out there and make it count.

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