Albert Lou

It was a night, not so long ago, when I laid in bed, under the blanket of silence and a strange epiphany hit me. It’s now been a question that has been bothering me for quite a while. Often, I try and ignore it and give myself something to do. But no matter how far I stray, I find myself return into thought, searching for a plausible answer to that one, simple question: what am I going to do with my life?

Scroll back a few years and I couldn’t have cared less what my future held; most of the things I’d do were because I wanted to, not because they were necessary. Today, it is quite the opposite. The constant need to get something done has sapped me of the childhood freedom of doing whatever I wished, whenever I wished. The sudden realization that my future has boundaries, I feel, has come far too late. As a student already halfway through 10th grade with no particularly outstanding traits or experiences in any specific subject, I can’t help but feel a little lost.

When I pose the same question to fellow students, they frequently arrive at a similar answer: “I don’t know what I’ll do in the future”. Yet, there are always a select few of my peers who are set on a particular career path and have dedicated their time and efforts into developing a strong background in their respective fields. But if it is so common to be unsure of one’s future, how should we dedicate our time? And should we aim to dedicate ourselves to a specific area of interest? This in turn came with further considerations such as the requirements needed to be accepted into a particular university major, the likeliness to find opportunities in a particular field, or the probability of success in a particular career.

But what if you don’t know? What if you don’t have the slightest clue what you want to study in post-secondary or do to make a living? Although I had once been full of ideas, recently, these have been the questions I’ve been asking myself. If you asked me a few years back, I would have explained I was destined to be the next New York Times bestselling author or the first doctor to find a cure to cancer. But now? I’m not so sure.

Should I be worried? Well, I have been. But after some further thought and consideration, I asked myself another question: is it wrong to be unsure? Uncertainty would surely be a bad sign in a test of wits, but should life be treated as a test? And if it should, would it be graded on a scale of how certain you are about your future? What if you’re wrong? There will always be comfort in certainty, but not knowing where your life is headed should never be a cause for concern, right? Truthfully, it’s been difficult to convince myself to believe in such an optimistic idea. Practically, you’re obviously better off if you’ve had extensive experience in the area you wish to pursue. And yet, I can’t seem to dedicate myself to a single field for fear that I may regret not choosing something else later. 

But at the end of the day, there isn’t anything else I can do other than keep trying. Rather than worrying about a lack of commitment to a single practice, I’m far better off committing to trying as much as I can in order to find a practice I can commit to. Perhaps it’s all just a matter of time. So, the next time I’m asked what I want to be when I grow up, I smile, and proudly say: “I have no idea … yet”.