I am sitting in my armchair, and have been doing so for the last seven hours or so (still not moving my head, of course). And I’m so grateful that I can now have a laptop on my lap and type away, look at university programs and plot my future.
Of course, I first had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t really plan my future. Its uncertainty and surprises prevent me from that. I thought I’d understood it when I ventured on my journey as a law major, thinking I’ll complete my law degree, and then I’ll see what I’ll become.
Now I have abandoned my law degree, and have to define future anew. This kind of freedom – a starting-over, or perhaps a continuation in a different direction – is terrifying. I spent the first three, four weeks after making the decision to stop studying law being afraid that I’ll make a “mistake” with a new path. But making mistakes would presume that there is only one right path for my life (and thus diverging from the path would be a mistake). That’s not true. There is no One Right Path for anyone. We make choices, and our choices alter our futures. Even when we thought our choice was carved in stone, we can change it again. And again and again and again.
In order to make a new choice, however, I first had to really face and accept who I am – in essence. Not who I’d like to be. You know, the line between improving oneself and denying oneself is blurry. I still want to improve myself: to be more open-minded, to be a mindful reader (not a mind-reader, though), to be more caring, to be disciplined, to learn to let myself relax on a regular basis, and so on. But when it came to college major choices, I just had to face the fact: I am more interested in the past than the present. I am more interested in humanities than sociology or political science or law. I am rather dreamy than “realistic”. I am a writer.
I used to think that these attributes of mine were flaws. Like bad posture or frantic sleeping pattern or negative thinking.
I no longer do, because I want to embrace myself the way I am. My family had the best intentions when they told me that while all of that was fine, I should pursue it as hobbies and have something “solid” for my career. I don’t know about other people, but I can’t live that way. I tried and almost broke myself trying.
The world might need its dreamers, thinkers, writers. But what I need is to be a dreamer, a thinker, a writer. Sometimes it’s that simple. And that terrifying.