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Last year, I gave a TED Talk for my English class about how the future scares me. At the time, it seriously did. I made many analogies to how my future was a twisting, intersecting, and curving set of roads that stretched out in front of me, never just one set path. It terrified me that my life was out of my control.
I just wanted my life to be predictable. I wanted to be predictable. Predictable was good.
I hated the unknown. The unknown was a dark looming presence. It would eventually come up behind me when I least expected it, press a hand over my mouth, and drag me away, kicking and screaming. It was my shadow, even on the brightest days when I felt as though nothing could bring me down. Stored forever in the back of mind, the unpredictability of the unknown quietly gnawed away at my nerves like a mouse. When they finally severed, my stress came pouring out, usually as tears.
I was always looking so far down that road, and I forgot to enjoy the scenery around me. I was constantly planning ahead. Everything had to be done in a set order or failure seemed inevitable. I just wanted to make something of my life– of my future– so badly. More than anything, I wanted to prove that I could do it– whatever “it” was. If I wasn’t undeniably successful, what was I?
Average. If I wasn’t successful, and I wasn’t a failure, I would be average. Average was predictable. I never wanted to be average, and I certainly don’t want to be now.
I don’t want to be predictable anymore.
There’s no adventure in sticking with what you already know. There’s no personal growth in following a step-by-step, self-set of directions. There’s no meaning of life if you do what everyone expects you to do.
I don’t want to be the person who can never pleasantly surprise the world. I want to make the ground shake and the stars in the sky dance. I want to be the rose that blooms during winter.
I’m going to be to my own sort of paradox: the girl with calculated unpredictability.
I didn’t realize how easy it actually is to be above average. To be above average just means you have had some sort of impact on the world. You don’t have to be remembered by the history books. You don’t have to be in the news. You don’t even have to receive any sort of praise or acknowledgment.
All you have to do is make a difference, any small difference, to be different from the rest.