"You have this one life. How do you want to spend it? Apologizing? Regretting? Questioning? Dieting? Running after people who don’t see you? Be brave. Believe in yourself. Do what feels good. Take risks. You have this one life. Make yourself proud." -Beardsley Jone
I think I have always struggled with the concept of “the unknown.” You know, like the feeling when you make a decision, but have no actual idea how it might play out. Or you live every single day loving more and meeting more people and growing as a person—not knowing what is actually ahead of you. You have pressures of wanting to live your life to the fullest, love the most people, make the best of everything—yet prepare yourself for the best possible future, by working hard, going to school, pursuing your dreams, and you have to find a balance between all of those differing pressures, and make the best of all that lies ahead, not knowing exactly what all of “that” even is. It’s the unknown, the uncertainty, the worries of losing the people you love when losing one already, the fear of not knowing what’s to come, or what will pay off —that keeps the life we live worthwhile, interesting and a journey. It’s about finding what works for you, finding your own positive way to find the answers that makes it challenging and unique to everyone.
When you lose someone you love, whether it be by distance, by death, by separation, or by drifting apart—it changes you. It makes you fear and question. When bad things happen to good people, it makes you question. When you work hard for something and it doesn’t pay off, it makes you question. When you go to school and work hard and feel no means of reward, it makes you question. Life is full of so many unexpected turns, unexpected outcomes—it makes you question what it’s all for and how you should continue on, not knowing what could happen. How do you make the most of the minutes you have, when you have no idea how many are left, how many are guaranteed for the people you love?
If there is one thing I have learned amidst all of my fear—my fear of losing people whether that be literally or figuratively, my fear of running out of time with the people I love, or time to do the things I have a passion for, my fear of failing to make the most of my days, the fear of losing the chance to chase my dreams, my fear of becoming someone I don’t want to be in the time I have—its that the fear of the unknowns, the worries that are always going to be there, aren’t what are going to find answers. In fact, there is nothing that is going to find answers, nothing aside from facing each day and living it—whether the day is easy or not, whether it goes my way or not. You don’t know until you get there.
Nothing about life is ever easy, right? And what makes it all even harder is not knowing what’s to come. Not knowing how many days are left with grandpa, not knowing if you actually should major in that particular subject, not knowing if you’re going to like the school you choose, not knowing if you’ll grow up in your home state or across the country. But to appreciate the time, to appreciate decisions that are your own, and to appreciate the feeling of fulfilling your dreams, and your passions of traveling, and those days with the people you love—require those uncertainties and those unknowns.
Every day is a risk, is a question. Every day something new can cross your path—whether that is something exciting and positive, or your worst case scenario that changes you forever. Things change, people change, and our lives are full of unknown things that come our way and change the way we value our time, that change the way we view people and life as a whole. Be positive, call your grandparents, smile at all the crabby humans you pass everyday—because life IS unknown. Life is a journey of a whole bunch of question marks and uncertainties. But it’s the worrying and the stressing that won’t get you answers and the journeying through all the unknowns that will. Make the most of the days you do have, rather than fearing the ones you won’t. Treat every day like it’s your last you know? Love the people you love a little extra, and give yourself time in the midst of all the work and pressures to just do what you want to do too. Don’t fear, just live.