Not Knowing Is Not A Handicap

Michelle Mirza, Editorials/Two Cents & That's Rad Editor

I am tired. I am constantly forced to balance the piles and piles of school work and volunteer here and attend this meeting there and don’t forget to have a social life Michelle and oh, can’t relax yet, you have to get into college and make sure you don’t absolutely starve to death or go completely insane. I am tired. I am exhausted. Some days I look older than my own mother. I do not need people constantly asking me or demanding a concrete answer when they drill me on what I want to do with my life after high school, after college, after I get a career, after I magically marry someone who I can actually stand for more than 5 seconds, after I have children I’m not even quite sure I want yet, after I die and I am six feet under.

Everyone, including myself, is constantly moving. Constantly planning and preparing for a future, and always reaching for the top, for the ‘good enough’. An “I don’t know” is not good enough. An “Oh, I’m still figuring it out” is not good enough. Finally taking a moment to pause and actually being present is not good enough – not in a world where the light at the end of the tunnel is the future. But how are we supposed to enjoy the present when we’re so focused on what’s going to happen rather than what is happening?

I’ve had enough of people expecting me to know what I want to do with my life. I am 17 years old. That’s at least a good 48 years that I must have accounted for, granted I don’t drop dead before I can claim my retirement money. How can people expect me to have 48 years of my life already figured out? I can barely figure out what I want for breakfast, forget about where I want to see myself in 5 years. I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to be passionate about just yet, I don’t know if I want to spend my 9am to 4pm cramped in a well-paying cubicle desk job, I don’t know if I want to drop everything and go on a coffee shop singer-songwriter world tour, I don’t know. And that’s okay.

“I don’t know” is good enough for me right now. I need it to be okay for everyone else.

It’s taken me awhile to get to a place where I’m comfortable with not knowing. It’s hard when you’re constantly surrounded by people who seem to have it all figured out. It’s hard when an “I don’t know” is a conversation stopper. It’s hard when not being secure in your plans is looked down upon. But it’s okay that it’s hard. It’s okay that I’m not on the same track as everyone else and if you’re just as lost as I am, I hope you realize this as well. Every single person has their own hopes and dreams and just because the person sitting next to you has discovered them, that doesn’t automatically handicap you.

Being in a state of not-knowing is not a handicap.

We’re all on different paths, different paces, different points in our lives and it’s time to recognize that and accept it.