A few days ago, I was told that my 14-year-old sister and her classmates were having to choose a "career path" in school. They had to sit down and browse through a selection of careers on a computer and pick one that they liked based on what the computer program had chosen for them through a series of questions about their hobbies and interests. When I heard about this I was floored. Sure, it definitely helps to set our future generations on a path towards their goals, but at 14 I remember not even knowing what I was doing over the weekend, much less 10 years from then.

In fact, my whole life I've bounced back and forth between future career choices. I never really knew what I wanted to do. Sure, I liked a few things and was decent at them, but as far as choosing my future path I have pretty much always been clueless. I didn't really know who I was or what I wanted to be because I was so busy trying to fit other people's image of who I was and what I was supposed to become, and that was what had been holding me back all along.

You see, I didn't realize until very recently that my future is exactly that. My future is MY future. It isn't anyone's but mine. When I finally began to see it as something that belonged to me, I started to become more at peace with the choices I was making regarding it. My path became clearer and it dawned on me that I wasn't responsible for making anyone content with my future life and career but myself as long as it was within limits and didn't hurt anyone I loved.

No one can make the choice of who you are and who you want to be but YOU. You are responsible for giving yourself whatever future you want. If you're like me, I completely understand that it may be first nature to try to please others and be who they want you to be or who the world might see you as, but it isn't until we realize just how free we are to be whoever we want to be that we really start to understand who we were in the first place.

I encourage you to dig deep within yourself and find out who you are and to never let anyone else make that decision for you. Life is short and for some of us the decision of what to do with our futures and the weight and pressure from others to be who they think you should seem to be a looming dark cloud that gets heavier and heavier every day, but I promise that the second you realize that it's all up to you, you'll feel lighter and will be able to more easily move into who you were meant to be all along.

Your life and your future are yours. It's one of the few things in this world that we can actually call our own. Don't waste that by trying to be someone you aren't just because it's who you're told you are. You are you, and the beauty of that is that it's whoever you want it to be.