"What if I never see myself be anything more than what I've already become?" This is a line from "Bad Idea," a song from the hit musical "Waitress." It really resonates with me because sometimes I feel like in the future I'll never be ever to top anything I've already done. It compels me to ponder this idea of feeling inadequacy, this idea of always striving to be "enough," yet feeling like even our desires, hopes, and dreams are never enough. It might have even been an influence in my choice of major.
I loved the idea of majoring in music ed; however, I was always worried that I didn't love music "enough" to pursue it academically and frankly, I was terrified of getting burnt out from doing something that brings me so much joy. I did not want music to ever be a source of dread for me. However, even now, when I walk through the halls of the music building (I'm a music minor so I still have classes in that building) and hear music majors excitedly talking about their senior recitals or a talented soprano practicing a run in a vocal lesson, I can't help but feel wistful and ask myself, "but what if?" Would I be stressed but happy planning my own recitals? Would I be volunteering in music classes at a high school? Would I feel more fulfilled than I do now?
On the other hand, when I was still a STEM major, I was also worried that I did not like science enough. Granted, this turned out to be TOTALLY true. However, when I see friends that made it past their foundational courses, doing real research and studies, I often ask myself, "What if I could have just stuck out the foundational courses? Would I be in a research lab studying topics that are more interesting and enjoyable than the taste I received in those courses? Would I be on the way to a more successful career?"
And then apart from those two examples, there is another anxiety about how what I DO do in life I will never be able to do enough. There are so many things I would like to do in life that I worry that I can not give any of those things my full potential. If we spread ourselves too thin, we cannot reach the maximum of our potential in that one area. Yet, if we choose just one, and become the greatest at that one thing, what about all the other passions and hobbies we could have pursued? Must it really be an all-or-nothing mentality?
Of course, I know that "what-ifs" don't really exist and that one could drive him or herself crazy over things that could have happened if we had just chosen that ONE thing or done that one thing slightly differently. I know that what matters is the here and now, and you can always turn back if you don't like the path that you're on. Despite all these doubts and anxieties, despite all these "what-ifs", I do feel like I'm on the correct path for ME. And if in time I find that I've gone astray, I will step back and pave my path correctly as needed.