I find solace in the familiar


A few of the books, shows, and movies, that I have re-watched or re-read

For the past few years, my mind has been constantly plagued by questions. 

What do I want to do when I grow up? What is my dream job? Where do I want to live? What do I want to be? 

Who do I want to be? 

For the past few years, I have adamantly avoided these questions. 

For the past four years, I have tamed the panic clawing at my chest with the thought that I don’t have to decide yet. I’m not even in high school yet.

But now I’m a freshman.

Now there are meetings with counselors and setting goals for future careers.

Now my 16-year-old sister is planning college visits, and all I can think about is how two years from now, I’ll be doing the same. 

I haven’t quite figured out how to deal with that yet. I don’t know what it means that four years from now, I won’t be living in the house I have spent my entire life in. I won’t even want to be living in this house anymore; nevertheless, the change is a lot for me to wrap my head around.

Some days, instead of trying to plan for the future, I go back to my past. 

I re-read all the same books, I re-watch my favorite movies, and I binge-watch shows that I finished years ago

I re-read all the same books, I re-watch my favorite movies, and I binge-watch shows that I finished years ago. 

I can calm the growing uneasiness about my future with the familiar cadence of pages turning, friends laughing, and knowing exactly what will happen in the characters’ lives, even if I don’t know what will happen in my own. 

Growing up, I always knew exactly what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a zookeeper, spending every day taking care of animals. I wanted to be a veterinarian, helping the hurt ones. I wanted to be a teacher, a zoologist, a librarian, a scientist. 

There was a time in my life when I thought that all I would ever do was gymnastics. It was my whole life. It still is, for the most part, but I am now old enough to realize that it can’t be forever. 

I’ll continue it through high school and hopefully into college, but after that, the one thing that I have done my entire life will be gone. 

It’s terrifying to think that years from now I’ll be watching the Olympics, and instead of thinking about how I can improve my skills for the next meet season, I’ll be remembering when I was a gymnast. I’ll look back at pictures of today feeling like it was a lifetime ago because it will have been. 

Some days it’s easier to simply not think about it. It’s easier to not stress about something that will happen eventually, whether I want it to or not. I don’t know how my story ends, and that’s okay. I don’t even know how I want my story to end.

I still don’t know who I am or who I want to be, and I don’t know if I ever will.

So, it’s easier sometimes to go back to the familiar. To fall back in love with the same characters and storylines that I have a thousand times before. It’s easier to know exactly what will happen in someone else’s next chapter than to panic about what will happen in my own.