As a child, I had my whole life planned out. I had a path to follow and I wanted to get on it ASAP. I did not dream of being a princess, not a fairy, nor popstar. From age eight, my life goals were (if I may so myself), admirably realistic: I was going study in English at university in England and become an author. This remained my unwavering goal throughout my childhood and teenage years, only solidifying as I got older. As I faced into the final years of secondary school, I was one of the lucky few who knew exactly what I wanted to do, I had a goal toward which all this hard-work was directed; the glistening star, I had been following all my life, almost within reach. It didn’t cross my mind to consider another path, there was only one yellow brick road.
Yet others began to doubt the road I was paving for myself, and my works, whose foundations had been so carefully laid, were put on hold. My plans to study abroad were called into question and all of a sudden, my carefully constructed future was less defined. I did not deal with the ambiguity very well.
This was my first real confrontation with uncertainty, but as the year proceeded it was only to grow a more familiar acquaintance. At University I was thrown into a course that I had believed I would love and at which I would excel, only I didn’t appear to. I was no longer the big fish in the small pond and my insecurities were thrown into relief. Once more, I called into question my carefully defined plans. Did I really want to be an author? More importantly, could I really write? For the most part of my first year, I pushed aside these doubts, ignoring them in preference of my plan because to really face them would be terrifying, even (and forgive my dramatics) soul destroying. How could I ever come to terms with the crushing of my childhood dream?
This year, however, my doubts have come further to the fore, and I can no longer ignore my uncertainty about the future. Even if I should still choose to write, it is unlikely that this will be the career from which I can make a living, and so either way, the trajectory which my life will take, is uncertain. As an arts student, the paths I may take are multifarious. There is absolutely no clear route which I may follow. I commenced this degree, believing myself to be one of the lucky few who knew exactly what she was going to get out of it, only to become a member of a club to which I had never desired entry: the Fluid Futures. Gradually, I am coming to embrace this membership. Being so certain about my future had confined my horizons, I would not allow myself to become too immersed in any hobby, or interest, writing being the ‘ultimate’ one. Writing was my ‘thing’. Now, being unsure, has encouraged me to widen my view, and pursue other things about which I am passionate, or merely intrigued by. I no longer have any idea what the future holds, (indeed I never did, but I believed that I did) and so I want to try anything and everything. I want to find what I love–what will make me happy, because, uncertainty has brought with it one conviction: I do not want to settle. I want to be happy. Happiness is my priority. I am learning, not to see uncertainty as an inhibitor of goals, and their pursuit, but as a supreme gift. Uncertainty provides us with the chance to explore and discover, to be spontaneous and adventurous.
I once believed that writing would be the constant in my life, now I see that the one invariable, in the lives of all, including my own, is that of doubt. NOBODY, not one of us, will ever be certain if we have taken the right path, the only way we can know, is if we try it for ourselves. Uncertainty is scary, yes, there is no denying it. Yet, for me, there is something much more terrifying, and that is settling for the illusion of certainty, merely to achieve security.