If I could get a penny for every picture of my friends' holding shiny gold and silver letter-shaped balloons of the abbreviation of their degrees, which now belong at the end of their names, uploaded in social media, I would be able to buy return tickets to Iceland by now. Those photographs marked the end of another chapter in their lives where everyone celebrates the joyous occasion after the struggle of long hours of studying and all nighters, as well as the culmination of cheap instant food and countless cups of caffeine to get the blood pumping in order to write that fifty-double spaced pages of thesis they love to hate. And now what?
Good question. For the lucky ones, who have got their future sorted out and happy about it, congratulations. For those who are still confused as a headless chicken, I would like to say you are not alone. The great thing about trying to figure it out is to see things in a bigger picture. Some of us are stuck with the idealism of having the right job just as we are looking for a life partner to spend the rest of our lives with. And it's okay. One thing I realised, as obvious as it sounds, the older I get, the more I am aware that I am not getting any younger. None of us are. Not our parents, grandparents, and friends. And at the end of the day, we all are on a ride that only goes to one direction: death. I'm sorry to break this blatant, and arguably ugly and horrifying, truth to you but just in case you forget, the only certain thing in life is that we all are going to die.
Therefore, the more I would like to make sure that none of us is going to spend another second of our times doing what we don't like or being pressured into doing what others deem to be right. If you are not sure yet of what you like, I suggest you to keep looking. Most of the times, you would find yourself finding the things that you don't like before getting to the best part of finding out things you actually cherish. So, I would like to say once again, it's okay. Knowing what you don't like is as good and essential as finding things that you like. Cross that off your list and carry on.
Since the phone call I had with my parents twenty hours flight away two months ago, which followed with an inevitable act of intense crying and sobbing – I was not sure whether it was tears of longing to be held close by them or the desperately confused part of me approaching the future, I have never been more determined in my life to spend every single day making sure I know what I want to do and what I don't like. What I realised soon after is that I tend to daydream that figuring it out is an over-night act. But it isn't, and if I could, I would like to be reminded everyday that it takes hard work and it surely does not happen over night.
Here is a clip of my favourite musician, Dallas Green, explaining it best, not in a condesending but motivational way, as he shared his experience when no one was listening to what he wanted to do in life. With blurred background of green landscape and under his suede caramel-coloured hat, he said, "I realised I had to work harder than I could ever worked at something in my life, to make it happen. And it was then, that things started working for me, when I started working for it."
In addition to that, I also read an interesting review of the book I am currently reading called "The Opposite of Loneliness". The book itself is a collection of honest essays and short stories written by twenty-two year old girl named Marina Keegan who sadly passed away five days after her graduation day from Yale University. Nevertheless, I truly believe that her lively and witty spirit lives forever in her great works. In the review I found one paragraph I am eagerly to share to my fellow twenty somethings year old friends out there. And here it goes:
"In the book, Marina mentions a few times that she wants to be a writer. But from what I can tell she already was one. It made me think that perhaps we are already what we want to be, but that in the real, non-university world of 9 to 5 and money and responsibility, we find ourselves forgetting. Re-reading The Opposite of Loneliness will be how I remember, I think." — Lydia Tewkesbury
I could not agree more that Marina was a great writer. Her voice, or writing, was so smart, subtle yet endearing, almost to the point of it wakes up your secret thoughts that most of the time you won't likely to admit. What is more, what Lydia wrote in the review nudged me as I heard a soft whispers at the back of my head: It made me think that perhaps we are already what we want to be, but in the real... world of 9 to 5... we find ourselves forgetting.
The next chapter of our lives will involve higher, greater responsibilities and demands. I genuinely hope it does not matter whether you are lost or you already have promising jobs lined up, you would still remember this: don't let the 9 to 5 routine buries your aspiration. Because maybe without you realising it, or the world validates it, you already are what you want to be.
This concludes the congratulatory post for the class of 2015. You made it this far. Now go write your future as if it were written in the stars.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz