Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Victory! Finals Have Been Defeated!

I haven't felt quite this strange in a long time. It's weird when you conclude a sequence of predefined challenges and now suddenly have to figure out what ladder you're going to climb next. It was a little bit less of a "huh..what now?" feeling after high school graduation, because I had already been accepted into college, so that was where I was going, no need to think about it. But now after graduation, I'm not immediately designated for going anywhere in particular. 

Let's put a positive spin on this.

Rather than to look at it as if I'm ambling around without a sense of direction or purpose, I choose to think of myself and my future as being omnidirectional. 'Omni' means "every," and so now that I have nowhere I have to go, and nothing I have to do (exception being to find a way to get money, and soon), I have a potentially unlimited pool of possibilities in front of me. It's as if all doors are open, and which ones close and which ones open after this will depend on the choices I make as I go from here. I'll only have one actual future, but at the moment I have multiple potential futures, and on some level, I have the freedom to choose which I prefer.

That's nice, but the irony is that I don't really know what I'd prefer. I mean, my long-term goals are as concrete as they could be -- move to a mountainous state, try homesteading, get married, etc etc, but my near-medium-term goals are an amorphous haze. My ability to make decisions about my future is hindered by my inability to predict the future. I don't know what will end up happening in the next few months, or year, and this obscures the future in my mind. It's very hard to make plans when your life isn't stable. And by unstable I simply mean that it's rapidly changing in a way I can't foresee. 

I'm going to have to take things day by day for the time being, and not by choice. My biggest motivation, then, to go looking for employment, is the privilege to plan ahead and determine my own future that that would give me. Because to this date, my life has been largely determined by a preset schedule. In early life, my parents raised me and taught me to speak; in my youth I simply went through primary and secondary public school like everyone else; and in my young adult life I've gone to college and wrapped up a degree. There hasn't been a lot of input from my end. My decisions have been similar to the whitewater rafter's decisions about which way to move laterally along a river. The river keeps pushing you downstream no matter what you do. Going upstream is not within your sphere of choice, nor is disembarking at key moments. But now my raft has come to a calm part of the river and I have a choice which bank to row towards. While I'm still in the raft, I can survey the shore and the horizon from a distance and make a commitment before I begin climbing, because when I'm on my way up, I might not be able to see the forest for the trees, as the saying goes. To conclude my analogy, then, unfortunately for me, a fog hangs over the valley and I can't see what the terrain ahead or to the sides looks like. I'm going to have to make a blind decision. In this case, with the current pushing further ahead slowly but steadily, even indecision is blind.

There's the mountain I want to climb, but I can't see how I get there.
(Credit:Stephen Alvarez

Here's to all the other college graduates out there and my best wishes to you. It's my hope that you will make the best decisions, even if, like me, you can't see where you're walking. My desire is that we will look back in time and see where we've come from and cherish the trail as much as the summit.

~ Rak Chazak

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