My Future is Uncertain and That’s Okay

 

clem-onojeghuo

A multitude of questions that have resonated across the realm of my early existence, each differing in their frequency and complexity. Many of which I really didn’t mind answering.

But there was always one, in a concoction of perceived simplicity and retrospective conviction that I never really knew how to respond to: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

No matter how much I tried, I was always lost in its obscurity. I never really understood how I was expected to know what I planned to do with my expected existence, especially when my footprint had barely scratched the continuum of time. I never really understood how we could speculate on the future when the present was so prevalent.

I still don’t. But I couldn’t say that. They were there, waiting for a response. A world beaming with expectation. Each profession brimming with its own association. So, I gave them exactly what they wanted. Manufactured a response. Sometimes, I would be fortunate enough that their attention would be diverted towards something entirely different. Sometimes I wasn’t. Sometimes it would wander further into convoluted debate.

“Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Do this. Do that. This is better.” Repeat.

I think we’re always trying to understand our lives. Either that or someone tries to understand it for us. And at its epitome is the undefinable, that which we can’t see. We’ve surpassed the past; we perceive the present. But the future, the future is unchartered territory. And we’re motivated by the eradication of its uncertainty.

I think that’s what scares us most. That’s why we try to eradicate all semblances of its mystery. That’s why we plan every part that we possibly can. That’s why we’re always aiming for something. And that’s okay. By societal standards, it would be senseless not to.

But we can’t actually plan for the future; we tell ourselves we can but all we actually do is plan pathways and hope we end up where we think we should be.

And when we don’t. We dissolve in the absence of achievement. We falter underneath the fallacy that is predictability. We resign to regret and reservation.

We say that we’ve failed.

I think everything happens for a reason and a purpose. Sometimes, we’re so distracted by how everything else doesn’t happen that we don’t see what that reason is. Sometimes, we’re so busy wallowing behind pre-conceived notions of the future that we don’t pay attention to the present.

This is not about being misguided or unambitious. This is about recognising redefined trajectories. This is about realising the boundless opportunities that are right before us when we care to look past failure. This is about challenging the notions of certainty. This is about enjoying the journey even in anticipation of the destination.

This year, I’m going to begin to a new chapter in my life. I don’t know if the major I’ve chosen is going to lead me somewhere. I don’t know if I’ll end up where I think I should be. But I’m fine with that. Because I realise that somewhere is somewhere after all.

The future in all its complexities is composed of a collation of thens, nows and afters.

And amongst it all, all we can truly control is the current. So control it. Go into unchartered territory. Embrace the uncertain. Be senseless. Maximize it in its entirety. Repeat.

© Hudson Biko

Photograph: Clem Onojeghuo

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This Is About Regret

victoria-hallPhotograph: Viktoria Hall-Waldhauser

We are an oxymoron of the finite and the infinite. Faced with finite actions from infinite possibilities. Faced with finite decisions from an infinity of potential repercussions. Living finite eternities in an infinite universe.

And sometimes we find ourselves living in between the echelons of the two extremities. Living in between perceived certainty and uncertainty. Living with the repercussions of actions we wish we could take back. Wishing we could choose again from one of the other infinities. Living in echelons we call regret.

Reverberating in a vicious cycle of could have and would have beens. Falling into fallacies and creating perceived outcomes. Living them out because they are what we thought we would get. Haunted by the remains of inaction and the ghosts of possibility.

Sometimes we let those ghosts entrap us from repeating what we once did. From the failures and disappointments. From the uncertainties and insecurities. Because we once reached and wished we never took the journey.

Because we aren’t meant to repeat the same mistake twice. Because we’ve come to fear our own intuition.

But you did it. For whatever reason, you chose what you chose from an infinity of possibilities.

Every other thing could have been any other thing. Every other path could have led to any other destination.

The irony in fearing mistakes is that it forces us to make more. It forces us to reverberate in uncertainty. It forces us to live in sheer self-doubt.

And sometimes, even worse than that, it forces us to confine ourselves to comfortability. We lose out on so much more because of our fear to lose out on what we never had to begin with.

If anything, let the same fear that tells you everything that could go wrong motivate you to see what could go right.

Appreciate where you are at this very moment. Appreciate how every facet of your past and present has created the person you are today. Appreciate all those things that aren’t worth appreciating because that ultimately gives you the room to grow.

At the end of the day, it’s always better to live with the knowledge that we gave everything than to live with the idea that we could give more.

And when we live in the presence of self-confidence rather than self-doubt we give ourselves the opportunity to trust our own intuition. To understand that we can’t make any mistakes because everything serves a purpose. To understand that we can’t take wrong paths because we end up exactly where we need to be. To understand that the lines between right and wrong decisions are abstract. That each experience is a facet of growth and self-understanding.

You are an evolving canvas. Composed of everything painted upon it. Composed of an oxymoron of misplaced and masterful strokes. But ultimately, a canvas that is only painted by the strokes that are taken to begin with.

 

©

Choose To See The Good

maria-victoria-heredia-reyes-20883.jpgPhotograph: María Victoria Heredia Reyes

Life is a broken pendulum. Irregularly oscillating. Stuck between moments of happiness and moments of sadness. Stuck between memories we choose to hold onto and memories we wish would let go of us. Stuck between consistencies and inconsistencies.

But even in its broad irregularity, we face one constant: Choice. Sometimes of temporary consequence. Sometimes of enduring definition.

We’re always caught up in the process. Always oscillating in a cycle of indecision. And maybe that’s why we only pay attention to what we choose to see.

Perspective becomes subsequent. Accrued from the absence or presence of experience. We don’t really think about it, it just happens. And for the most part, that’s okay. But sometimes it’s so incredibly instantaneous that we don’t really get to see everything for all that it could be.

Sometimes, the magnitude of memory outweighs the magnitude of belief.

Sometimes, we’re so hurt by people that we rather hurt them before they have a chance to hurt us.

Sometimes, we’re so broken that putting things together is harder than letting everything else fall apart.

Sometimes, darkness is more comforting than light.

But if we only looked at the darkness, we would never see the beauty in the stars.

We have a tendency to look at what we don’t have rather than what we do. To look at what we haven’t done rather than what we have. To look at everything for what it isn’t rather than what it is.

And I think that’s part of who we are. Or rather, who we’re made out to be.

So much so, that we don’t realize that sometimes things fall apart so we can build something better.
That we need to fall so we can learn how to pick ourselves up.
That pain pre-empts healing.

That’s why we stop ourselves from doing something that holds the capacity for the failure we once experienced. But if we never failed, we would repeatedly rotate in the confines of comfortability. We would never grow.

We are the summation of our experiences, but we are not the finished article. And if we were always chained to memory, we would never free ourselves to create better ones.

If we never struggled, we would never realize how much we wanted what we wanted. We would never test every facet our being to its point of understanding.

If we always saw people for the pain others caused us, we would never see the potential for good in others. And if we were always saturated in a state of distrust we would condemn our own conviction.

Just as negativity breeds nullification, positive energy breeds positive repercussion.

And at our very core, we are what we think we are. We resonate with our own frequencies. We define what defines us. That is the constant regularity, the oscillation that is unbroken.

So, choose to see the good even when its hardest. Even when every fibre of your being wants to give in. Even when the light is flickering in obscurity. Even when you’re at the precipice of the oscillation’s extremities. Those are the moments that compose realization. Those are the moments of growth. Those are the moments that the stars burn brightest.

 

© Hudson Biko

Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com.