This doesn’t have a title because I wrote it during my last hour of work and I couldn’t be bothered to think of one, oops.
“What are your plans for the future? What do you want to do?”
I wish that wasn’t so hard to answer. The thing is – I never really made any plans, because I didn’t think I’d even make it this far.
And now I’m here, perched tentatively on the cusp of adulthood, trying to decide exactly which direction I should go to maybe find a destination I’m happy with.
I guess it just seemed somewhat pointless planning for a future I never thought I’d be a part of.
To be blunt: I’ve spent a lot of my life almost certain that I’d be dead by now, what with the horrifying cocktail that has been my mental health for as long as I can remember – and if I didn’t do it, maybe someone else would decide that their disagreement with my identity is something I had to pay for with my life. That’s a wound that got torn right back open with what happened in Orlando this weekend, but that’s a post for another day.
The point for now is I’m not dead. And to be fair, I don’t actually have any plans to be dead any time soon. But that’s a weird place to be in, stuck between past and future after spending so long thinking you’d never get to a point where ‘future’ was actually something you needed to consider. It’s weird listening to people say with so much confidence what they want to do, what they want to be, where they want to go – having elaborate plans for their lives and goals they’re excited about and always working towards.
I haven’t planned anything, haven’t worked at anything enough to be good enough to make a living from it (or at least haven’t built up the confidence enough), and it feels a whole lot like I’m watching from outside sometimes.
I know it’s not uncommon to not know what your ‘calling’ is at age 21. I know it’s something a lot of people my age go through, the panic of “fuck, what do I want?”. But I feel like everybody else has at least some idea of what they’re good at, or an ideal scenario of how their life plays out, or something to that effect. It’s disorienting and a little scary to try and think of what you want your ideal future to be and have nothing come up except the hope that maybe you won’t be lonely when it arrives.
It’s not even that I don’t feel good right now. Honestly, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time – I’m doing better at University than I ever expected to, I have a full-time job for the summer, I’m in the best relationship I’ve had so far with the most wonderful person in the world (and moving in with him come September), I’m surrounded by friends who respect and love me for who I am. At the very least, I feel like I at least have potential for a future now much more than I did five, three, two years ago. It doesn’t feel like I am simply surviving day-to-day any more. And that’s so good. This is the most optimistic I’ve ever been.
It feels so fragile, is all. Like if I let myself settle into this, if I let this become my direction, it’ll fall apart and I’ll be stuck in the dark again.
That’s kind of the thing about the future, though. Nobody knows what’s going to happen, not for certain. I guess that’s why it scares me.
I’m bad at finishing these and I think I’m done with this. I’ll edit it if I think of anything to add.