In times of doubt I find myself writing down every thought that runs through my head. My dreams get a little funny and my sense of vison a little cloudy. I can go through a whole day thinking about a singular issue, going over every parameter and angle of it, and still not settle on a solution. And this applies to anything, like life, math, science, relationships…anything really. What it really comes down to though is the great “what if” statement of your life, and what exactly it means.
I most likely need to stop reading John Green books, but when revisiting his books Paper Towns and my personal favorite, Looking for Alaska, I think I’ve found the feelings that I’ve been struggling to recognize. Why is it that everything thus far isn’t concrete yet? Why can’t I secure what I believe to be the correct way to approach my own future? How is it that someone else can ruin my prospects despite how hard I try? And while we can’t answer that, we struggle even more so to understand that. We struggle, and struggle, and struggle until we just don’t have the energy to continue any longer. And the one thing that comes back to bite us in the end is that great “what if” statement we hate to hear.
“What if” we changed our minds, changed our direction, changed our major, changed the friends we made, changed the choices we decided on, or changed that fateful mistake that may have cost you something precious? We always turn back and think “what if” and not “for what”. No matter what you do, you will have hesitation and doubt. You will look at that choice dead in the eyes and you’ll feel apprehension whether you’d like to admit it or not. If you face those challenges with the idea of “for what” then maybe you’ll find the motivation that you just needed in the nick of time.
“For what”? For what reason did you decide on this major? Was it to succeed in life? Was it to make someone proud? For what reason did you decide to challenge yourself? For what reason brought to this very moment of thinking? Doubt is the destroyer of minds; it breaks down the ideas of great people only to implant the seeds of self-deprecation. And for whatever reason, let there be at least a reason for why you struggle so hard. For what reason do you need to struggle and fight so hard for your future? Well, that’s because it’s the only thing you can own and no one will ever take that away from you. No one will fight for your own future, and the choices you make now may define it, for better or worse.
While I perhaps may be in a more stressful time than I would like due to classes and the concept of entering a new phase in my life, after stepping back and asking myself “for what”, I realized that it was all for the sake of my future. I might be writing this editorial to let some of my thoughts reach to those who may be in similar situations. As I’m finding out though is that you struggle to understand, but you also struggle to come to terms with your strengths and limits. If you feel weak now, then grow stronger, find your rationale, and find your reason to fight for. You are only as strong as you make yourself believe. The great “what if” let it be your guide and not your leader. The “for what”, let it be your motivation and not your deterrent. And finally let everything you’ve conquered thus far be a testament to all that you are capable of, whether they were small or great battles in your life, you’re here now.
The great “what if” can come after what you are fighting for.