The Unknown Future – A Curious Reflection

I’ve already talked about the surface level of myself: what I like to do, how I like to prioritize my time, and topics I like to discuss. But to really know me, I think we need to dive into how I navigate life.

Throughout college, I thought long and hard about what life means, what living means what responsibilities I have as a human, a son, a friend… Then, on a beautiful day, a thought struck me:

I’m free to do whatever I want in my life! But that freedom comes with a cost: the full responsibility for everything I do.

For the first time, I can feel that my life is entirely in my hand! For the first time, I feel the weight of living without anyone telling me what’s the correct thing to do! “What do you mean I’m responsible for my happiness? I’m even responsible enough for my own breakfast!” “What will happen? Will everything go as planned? Will I land that job? Where would this relationship lead me to?”

The unknown future… it scared me!

“I need a plan!”, so I thought. I started trying to plan for everything. Choosing my major was a huge deal. I jumped in classes from engineering, math, economics, to business, psychology, sociology, politics, film, etc. To me, this was such a big life commitment to take. I tried to plan out my life until I’m 50. I need to work in big corporations at this age, start-up by that age, earn this much by this time. Of course, I have learnt the hard way that plans fall apart due to random events coming up that we could never fully account for.

And then, on another beautiful day right after college, another thought struck me just as out of the blue as the previous one. But this one is more exciting!

That day, after getting some job applications in and working on my personal programming project, I equipped myself with fascinating astronomy knowledge. Then, I planned a summer vacation with a good friend, played some music, listened to a good audio book while taking a long walk in the sun. I grabbed coffee with a stranger to talk about traveling, music, and the little things we enjoy in our lives. It was an utterly mundane but wholesome day at the same time!

I feel… happy? Yes, happy!

Reflecting on the day, I suddenly realized that I have friends and relatives who understand me, I can get work done, I can satisfy my curiosity. More importantly, I am in good health condition, in good mental capability. Throughout my education and experiences, I have learned how to keep learning down the road. These qualities are so simple, right? We have them simply because we live in a modern society! We just don’t appreciate them enough. With these qualities, I am completely prepared for anything coming my way! I can adapt to the unknown future. In essence:

No matter what, I will be fine.

Now, knowing that, the unknown future excites me!

I am now curious of the future. What feast will it brings? What adventure lays head? What if I do more of what I love instead of what I think I should do? What ignorance shall shatter? What shall I learn next? I want to discover all about the beauty and knowledge life has to offer! (Oh look at that! That’s my blog’s tagline)

I’m not even sure that this is the view of life I will continue to have, but it is what I’m settled with now. And that’s enough for me.

Now you know this important piece of me, it would be easy to deduce why I love to learn about music, about the emotion it brings, how it connects people. It’s also perfectly intuitive to understand why I’m fascinated by physics, astronomy, the recent discovery about blackhole. Or why I stop to look at beautiful scenery during my long walks or bike rides, or why I prioritize time with my close ones above other things. I’d love to talk more about each of them. But that will be a story for another time!

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