I got lost. People would always say that we should do what makes us happy. I've fooled myself before, feeling so sure about becoming a veterinarian, a doctor, environmental lawyer, nurse practitioner- in short, I considered a lot of careers because I loved a lot of things. Movies and books told me to "follow my heart." Somehow, these words calmed me down in the face of tough decisions. They would always echo back to me whenever I felt lost and unsure, and I believed that God knew my heart; so, it made sense to follow it. I'm not so sure, however, why I can't hear anything from it nowadays.
College woke up my extroverted character. I found out how much I was capable of loving people, and I was finally seeing that happy person I looked up to in me. I found who I was, at least I thought I did, until the question "what do you want to do after you graduate?" kept haunting my thoughts.
It barged in with so many worries and discouragements. I reflected on my GPA, my major, my experiences, and my leadership; I compared these with others: I wasn't enough. I wasn't enough for life after college. I wasn't enough for law school. I wasn't enough for the future. I suddenly felt the light inside me, that little spark of madness that Robin Williams told us about -- dying down. It was time to grow up; to stop following my heart because it started to look naive.
I learned, however, that the greatest didn't define how life was supposed to be. This started to make more sense as I thought about one of my favorite quotes. In J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," Dumbledore tells Harry that it is our choices that tell who we really are, far more than our abilities. Our grades and such don't have a say on establishing something for "I," but our choices do. I believe that we are given the freedom to use our thoughts to make choices, thereby moving us to different experiences in life. In other words, we experience life through the choices we make. My parents, siblings, friends -- every kind person in my life weren't there to make choices for me. Being with them shaped me into the person who would choose love over hate, to hold onto my faith in God in times of trouble, and to not let failures keep me down.
Even though there are times when I question my abilities, this path gave me so much love that it told me that regardless of my failures, I was enough. I was never my grades and resumé. I was my choices.
I don't have a Ph.D. in Philosophy, nor am I a life expert. I doubt my abilities because of my numbers. I don't know a lot about my future. I can't narrow down all the things I love into one job title. I'm flawed, and I always will be. I know that I'll be flawed in many ways in the future. I don't have the wisdom of the great philosophers I learned in my classes. I'm just a twenty-year-old, but I know that I'll always grow up in the sense that I'll be braver than the other times.