Ever since I left high school the trajectory of my life, and the one of many of my friends has been uncertain like it has never been before. We experience something that is completely new to us and that no one at school or at home could have prepared us for.
When I was at school, life wasn’t better or easier per se. I had problems or worries like anyone else, but I also had a very good time, excellent grades, an incredible support system, hobbies and “corner stones” in my life like my horse, the stables, my classmates and the gym. Doing something outside of school was already regarded outstanding, because when you’re in high school, no one expects you to do much more than to pass the year.
The uncertainty of what’s going to come after leaving the system paralyzed me for months. It left me unsure about myself and my actions, it made me depended on others and build unhealthy relationships. I was desperately needing guidance that no one could provide me. I wondered how I would ever get out of this rut and finally start “doing what I’m supposed to”. I wondered how so many others had it figured out already (they hadn’t!).
Essentially, having the full responsibility for taking my life in my own hands was what overwhelmed me. Whatever plans I made, I was never certain about them. But time kept ticking and, well, at some point I had to do something. So did my friends. September arrived and suddenly we were all on a different path. We were still not certain about it and many lost their way more quickly again than they would have like (me included). We were nothing but uncertain again.
And I don’t want to sound dramatic, but it’s the way it is and we had to learn how to deal with it. It’s part of the scary, daunting and (yes!) exciting thing called growing up.
Uncertainty opens possibility
Being at a crossroad means you can do anything. You can also do nothing. It might mean you have to wait for something to happen to make further decisions or it might mean you make decisions now and deal with consequences later. Some chose to make no decision. I don’t particularly recommend that.
I experienced all of it. Moving abroad was an out-of-the-gut decision that turned out to be the opposite of what I wanted. I made the decision because I was uncertain but I needed to go left or right. It opened to me the possibility to try out a study programme and gain experience in a different branche, the possibility to work in groups of internationals, to live and be on my own, meet people, make new friends, the possibility to connect with myself more and revitalize passions like reading and writing.
Figuring out I was on the wrong path left me uncertain again. I thought I was back at square one. But it gives me the opportunity to choose a different programme, to work for a little and to improve my coaching skills and business, to spend time with my family and dearest friends and to make new plans. I have to admit I like being back at square one. It’s like I picked a bad card but was allowed to pick again.
Now– this is a hard one, but: cancelling some dope plans for the next half year due to my surgery and being uncertain about my wellbeing, admission to university and in which country I’ll end up in September, gives me the possibility to … I don’t know yet. I’ll figure it out. And now, I’m sure of that. I wouldn’t dare to say that I appreciate uncertainty. But as I adult a little more, I try to see it as a possibility rather than something that paralyzes me and makes me passive. A possibility to choose a new path and make different experiences. Uncertainty is less daunting for me and many of my friends whom I graduated with, but it is for sure still frustrating. But it’s something everyone is experiencing and it’s not the end of the world.
If you’re at a crossroad currently, (whether that is in career, school, business, relationship etc.) it might not help to know that you’ll figure it out eventually. But a) you will. And b) surround yourself with people who are either going through something similar, or, mastered such a situation before.
Maybe you can even try to enjoy being unsure for a second. It means something is happening or changing. Or it will in the near future.
I hope you’re having a great week