It’s Okay to Not Know What’s Next

Over the last couple of years, I have consistently been asked these two questions: “why this major?” and “what do you plan to do with it in the future?” I then respond with an, “I’m not sure yet… still trying to figure it out,” knowing that my answer wasn’t satisfying to both the person asking and to myself.

I know that I enjoy writing – the potential it has in uniting humanity astounds me. I have a passion for the truth being told to the public, and I want to be the voice in which people can trust and engage.

The great French philosopher Michel de Montaigne once said, “Who a person is comes out in that person’s writing; what a person writes about himself or herself then becomes a part of who that person becomes.”

But what if I don’t know what kind of writing I want to do? This can truly apply to any other major, as well; what we seek to do becomes a part of us. Do we have any idea of which road we’re going to take? Nope. I for sure don’t know what I want to do with my life. Hell, I don’t even know what the next year is going to look like for me. I’ve learned to accept that that is okay, and this is why: it’s not what I do that is important but the purpose behind it and the person I become while doing it.

What I do know is that I want to have lived my life and been proud of what I’ve done. I want to be able to say that I strived for excellence in all areas of my life through my seeking of adventure, love and knowledge. I also want to be able to say that I was successful in creating lasting memories and relationships through being genuine and whimsical. After all, isn’t that what college is all about?

With this understanding, I realize that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. Of what, I’m not quite sure. What makes this uncertainty tolerable lies in the idea that there is comfort in the unknown.

In this ongoing discovery is the slow solving of this enigma that is my mind, as well as the mystery that is what my mind is capable of. In doing so, my passion for writing exponentially flourished, inspiring me to go live. Why stifle this passion by stressing out about the uncertainties of the future?

Had I known exactly where I would be now in my life, there would have been neither learning nor adventure – no mental activity to encourage growth. Even in the past couple of years, I have experienced so much more than I could have ever thought possible, simply because I learned to do things without the fear of it being “the right decision,” letting go of the desire for comfort and consistency.

After all, I would never have thought that I would be where I am now if I had continued straining myself to have a perfect plan for the future. Looking back to how I was in high school, I never would I have thought that I would’ve ended up at university that I attend, or picked journalism as a prospective career, or studied in the High Sierra mountains, New Zealand and Ecuador, or even believed the things I do now. What led me to all of these experiences was my willingness to let go of my need to have control. Life is constantly taking you places (in my case, literally); it is always changing, always moving. In all of it, I am maturing as an individual, which slowly, but surely, is helping me to discover where I am going.

I say that I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, but the more that I say it, the more I realize that I do know what I’m doing. I’m living passionately, whimsically and adventurously. I’m living to explore, to understand, to see. Not knowing what you want to do with your career isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you know what kind of person you want to be. Once you realize that the world and your mind have so much to offer you, why worry? With each day that you live and each moment that you experience, you are becoming the future you. Do any of us know what our future selves will be doing after graduation? Of course we don’t know.

The beauty is in the mystery of it all.

One thought on “It’s Okay to Not Know What’s Next

  1. Well said! I feel like this is something we all struggle with – especially us travelers since we have picked an unconventional life compared to the rest of the world. Best of luck, and keep on writing,

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