“What happens next?”
What’s coming? Where do I go from here? What do I choose–and how do I choose it?
How do I know if that’s the right choice? What if I regret it? What if this decision changes my life forever and in a way that I can’t undo?
When you don’t know what’s coming next, remember this:
This is what you want.
You want to not know.
As human beings, we are endlessly bound to worry, fret, ponder, question, struggle against and fear what is unknown. And the biggest unknown of all is “what’s coming next.” We’ll never know what’s coming next because the future is perpetually uncertain. Tomorrow can’t ever be known, and so we’ll always fear it and fret about it today, here and now.
And so we quietly torture ourselves about our decisions and choices. We’re conscious of the fact that tomorrow will be influenced by what we decide, do, say and choose today.
Sometimes we’ll spend hours, days, months, even years questioning the decisions and choices before us–and sometimes, we never end up making a single one.
We hear that voice in our ears saying,
“If I don’t know the result, how can I ever know what’s right to choose?”
You never know. Plain and simple.
And yet I believe that every choice is a victory in itself, because at least you’re choosing something. With every choice, you’re marching onward–you’ll have to live by your choices and be responsible for them, which is good. And when you make choices in accord with what is right for you and yours right now, you’re training your mind to make tough decisions in spite of the unknown.
This is one of the scariest facts of life–that tomorrow is unknown; that nothing in life is guaranteed.
Here’s the rub.
The question, “What comes next?” is the very question that you’ve always been living for, striding towards and fighting for. It’s what you’ve wanted all along.
That’s the point. To not know.
When you’re able to ask yourself “What comes next?” it means that your journey is your own. It’s a gift to be so uncertain.
It means that you possess choice right now. You’re free, to some degree. It means that a decision is yours to be made. It’s a gift that the choice exists at all. Choice is honest and raw and real power. And, yes, every choice and decision and moment such as this is uncertain, it’s terrifying, it’s completely unpredictable, and comes with loads of fears and worries, implications and responsibilities, fall-out and the fact that you can’t ever go back and do it again.
But that’s what you want.
Because that is freedom.
The next time you’re stuck in a choice or decision–whenever you’re on the precipice of doing something so fucking scary, whenever you’re upon the edge of confronting the unknown–remember this.
Freedom is as beautiful an idea as it is scary, because freedom is unknown.
Freedom is uncertainty. Freedom means nothing is promised.
When you wish for freedom–when you wish for free choice, when you wish to not be bound by chains, when you feel dead inside because your life is a monotonous wheel of certainty, comfort, expectations and predictability–remember this.
That’s freedom. That’s the gift. That’s what you want. What you long for. What you fight for.
What you want is to not know.