What if I don’t find a job when I graduate?
What if I never find someone to love?
What if I’m not happy with my career path?
What if something happens to the people I love, the friends I cherish and the world I’ve created so carefully for myself?
What if it doesn’t work out in the end?
In my brief 22 years, I’ve had a lot of unhappy endings. Things that didn’t work out and doors that slammed in my face, and through the course of those unhappy endings, I’ve taught myself repeatedly to choose pessimism over optimism and negativity over positivity. I’ve discovered the lessons in these unhappy endings, but I’ve never felt truly satisfied. My life is a constant search for something more because what if what I already have doesn’t work out? What if my current situation isn’t good enough now, or later?
And to be honest, why wouldn’t I feel this way? There’s a certain comfortability in believing that nothing will work out. There’s a strange transfer of ownership for your own life and your own actions when you commit to believing that nothing could ever possibly go the way you want it to. There’s a bizarre pressure (FROM SOCIAL MEDIA) to function in exactly the same way as our peers. There’s an invisible timeline hanging over each and every one of our heads that expects unrealistic tally marks to be checked at each and every “milestone.”
But what if it worked out?
What if you do get a job when you graduate, but it’s not the same one you would’ve chosen for yourself, it’s something even better? Or what if you do get the job you want, in the location you want, with great pay and an even better work environment?
What if you do find love, but it’s not in the same month or year as everyone else? What if your love is growing and changing and finding themselves, only so that they can be the best version of themselves when you do finally meet? Or what if your love is sitting right in front of you, simply waiting for you to believe that things will work out?
What if your career path takes one turn after another and suddenly, you’re doing something you would’ve never imagined in your wildest dreams? Or what if you chose the right career path and you find fulfillment in the choices you made, regardless of what it looks like on the outside?
We spend more time focusing on what isn’t working vs. what is working, and it makes sense. Our society is driven by results-based performance and hinges on the belief that we are inherently broken and in constant need of “fixing,” so why wouldn’t we apply the same belief system to our lives? We’re under consistent pressure to look, act, think and behave in a uniform manner in order to achieve happiness or perfection.
The reality is that we are creating our own reality every step of the way and that as long as you’re putting your best effort forth to create a life you love, you’re not “doing it wrong.”
If its taken you five, six or seven years to graduate instead of four: you’re still doing it.
If you’re the only one in your social circle without a significant other: you’re still deserving of love.
If your job isn’t salaried when everyone else’s is: you’re still getting up everyday and working on building a future.
If something happens that disrupts your comfortability: you’re still in charge of you, how you feel and how you react. Do the work and create a better world for yourself.
We’re conditioned not to trust ourselves to do what’s in our own best interest no matter the circumstance. We’re conditioned to believe that if your life doesn’t live up to the expectations imposed by external factors, that somehow you’re not worthy. We’re conditioned to believe that life is about the end game, not the journey.
So, what if it does work out? What if everything, even now, is just as it should be? And if it doesn’t work out, what’s coming down the road that’s even better?