With all the big decisions coming up in my life, it’s not hard to get competitive. I constantly feel like I’m standing on a big cliff with a huge pitfall behind me while a giant hand is slowly but surely pushing me towards the edge. My classes have become more of a stake-out of peers to measure where I stand against my fellow future interviewees. While I know that jealousy is an energy-draining, negative response to insecurity, I can’t help but be full of it at the moment. I would so much rather be happy for my friends who are finding a place in their fields; but as the graduation clock ticks by, I find I can’t escape the fear and insecurity that often accompanies a looming big change in one’s life.
I know very well what non-pessimists would say to this: You should be excited! You’ve got a whole world ahead of you – Enjoy the freedom! And while that’s totally valid, and I do feel excited to a certain extent…am I the only one who is at least partly scared of that intense freedom? I want to believe that I will fly when I reach the edge of the cliff; but who’s to say I won’t smack face-down into reality? Who’s to say reality won’t break my back and I’ll be paralyzed for life, numbed by the fear of future rejection and disappointments?
You should be excited! You’ve got a whole world ahead of you – Enjoy the freedom!
Graduation is a time of massive decision-making that is beyond frightening for an indecisive girl like me who can’t spend less than a half-hour at Jewel picking out an ice cream flavor. One thing I won’t stand for, however, is responding to that fear by becoming a negative jealous person. Although when channeled properly, jealousy can become a motivational tool that proves a huge aid in the “Hunger Games” of this generation’s workforce, it is otherwise pointless. So, too, is fear.
Regretting old decisions that we believe could have led to another, better outcome will not change the present.
Fear of change, specifically, is the worst thing one can do to respond to an inevitable impending situation. I’ve come to think of life as a series of decisions one makes that, like a choose-your-own-adventure book, leads to set after set of new opportunities and decisions to make. Regretting old decisions that we believe could have led to another, better outcome will not change the present. The only thing that should matter is whether or not you like yourself as the person you are today. The decisions I have made in the past have led me to become who I am, and I like myself. That way, I know I trust myself to make the big choices to come: Where will I live? What will I do? How do I want to impact the world? How am I going to support myself meanwhile? I have no choice but to trust that I can hold the world in my palms without dropping it.