Two of the most frequently asked rhetorical and debatable life questions are “which came first, the chicken or the egg” or “is the glass half full or half empty?” Though rather silly, both questions share one thing in common: they don’t have a particular, exact answer.
There a lot of frequently asked questions that people hear all the time that don’t have one singular answer either.
“What do you want to do after you graduate?” “What do you plan on doing with your major?” “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” Where do you want to go to eat?” “When will you be free to hang out?” “Who are you voting for in the election?” “Why don’t you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”
Each allows for personal gratification based upon feelings, current personal status, and opinion. But if you’re like me, the answer to these questions is universal: I don’t know.
Unfortunately for me, “I don’t know” is one of the most frequently used sentences in my vocabulary. It’s not that I try to use it all the time on purpose, there are just a lot of things that I currently don’t know or have the answer to. Everywhere I turn, I feel like there’s so much pressure on me to have everything in my life figured out and scheduled day by day in a golden planner—just so other people can peruse through my life for their own satisfaction. And because I don’t, people think I’m different.
It’s as if people who may not be entirely sure what the future has planned for them are considered unmotivated, lazy, or careless. In reality, people just don’t understand us.
People like us are laid back. We have learned to live our lives day by day without having to worry or stress over the future. And just because we don’t worry, it doesn’t mean we don’t care. We want just as much success as the people with their lives figured out—we’re just not sure how we plan to accomplish it yet.
People like us have been challenged. We understand that life isn’t easy and things aren’t always going to be handed to you. You have to work hard for what you want. When failure comes our way, we don’t dwell on it; we strive to learn from our mistakes and even realize how things should have been completed in the first place.
People like us are perfectionists. We are very particular about the way things need to be done. We settle for nothing less than the best and stop at nothing until it happens. We tend to try to over achieve in everything we do from school work to extra-circulars. Our parents pushed us as kids and made sure we challenged ourselves. We accept all tasks willingly and tackle every obstacle that may come in our way through the process.
People like us have been hurt. We don’t trust easily. We keep our guard up to keep from feeling pain we’ve felt numerous times before. We’ve had our hopes up time and time again, but we yearn to one day make up for it. Sometimes, we may put other people’s happiness before our own to compensate for times we have been hurt ourselves, but we only do it because we care.
Though I envy people who may have their life together, not knowing adds an element of surprise and also allows for things to look forward too. Hell, I don't even know what I want to eat for breakfast tomorrow morning let alone where I plan to live and work after I graduate. But that's not stopping me from being the goal-oriented, go-getter, challenge-accepter that I am today.
If you don't know where life is going to take you yet, it’s okay. We have been given a life to live, not to plan. There’s no need to stress over something that hasn’t even happened yet. Yes, there may be times where we have no choice but to think ahead, but it’s not something we need to do all the time. There is just a big, bright, beautiful world out there and somehow, God knows where and how you are going to change it.
To those who just don’t know what you want: go explore. Go experiment. Go better yourself. Go accomplish something spectacular today. I’ll be right there with you.