Photography by Devon Butler
Thinking about the future is a terrifying thing for most people. Until I began my third year of university, I thought I had my future plans solidified. When I applied to university, I had the intention of continuing my education and planned to attend teacher’s college. That plan has since fallen through. I used to be someone who knew what they were going to do with their life, someone who had a concrete plan, and knew all the steps to get somewhere. I no longer hold that certainty, and it still frightens me. But learning to live with doubt about the future is something I have had to accept, as my own personality and goals shift into a shrouded path. For the first time in my life, my plans and hopes for the future are unstable, but I am slowly learning to appreciate this apprehension.
Since I was a child, I have associated myself with creative writing. When I revisited this passion in September and realized I could pursue further education of it at the Master’s level, my life seemed to illuminate with hope. Ever since I realized that a Master’s in creative writing might shape my future, it has been the topic of heavy debate in my family. They ask questions such as, “What kind of job is that going to get you?” or “What will you get out of that?” But the issue shouldn’t be what I will get out of it. That’s the least of my worries. To me, the most important aspect of this epiphany is the realization that this will make me happy. I don’t know what will happen to me if I choose to pursue a career in creative writing; it can be rather competitive. But when I feel so strongly about something I was born to do I feel like I cannot fail. I’ve had to remind myself that I don’t actually know what will happen should I follow that path, and I’m learning to live with that uncertainty about the future.
I realize that it doesn’t matter what countless other voices are telling me to do; my own is the loudest and strongest of them all. It is my future, and I know what is best for me. Creative writing is just one of many possibilities for my future, and not knowing about it right away is not something to be ashamed of. Rather, doubt about the future is something to be proud of. It shows that we as humans are concerned with the lessons we will learn from new adventures.
Despite all that is unfortunate for us, it’s important to remember that there will always be those people you can have faith in forever. Only we can decide what to do with the pain inside us, and whether or not we will use it to go backwards or forwards. The time that we spend on people that mattered only mattered then, but you can still relish the fact that the person ever mattered to you at all. Even if you do the most work in something you love and it doesn’t get you very far, at least the work was done with good hands and a good mind. When someone else is wrong about your future—or even theirs—sometimes it’s best to just let them discover it for themselves. Be humble. No matter how busy our lives may get, it is essential that we keep our creative minds active and follow our dreams; it is part of the reason why so many people are not inspired to do anything incredible anymore.
Learn to appreciate who you are and where you might go with your life. Listen to your heart, because it is often stronger than your brain. If I had listened to my brain’s logic of doing what others wanted, I wouldn’t be writing this now. I would have become robotic and lived an unhappy life. I realize that my