I’m Scared Of The Future, But It’s Totally Okay

Paolo Raeli
Paolo Raeli

Growing up, my mom never passed up a chance to tell me that I need to be fearless in this world. I can remember the way I would roll my eyes at her as I walked away with a drawn out “I know, mom.” I was fearless at 14, or at least as fearless as a 14-year-old could be. I didn’t need to hear it from anyone, especially not my parents. I was going to conquer the world and nobody was going to stop me.

To be honest, those days feel like forever ago and seven years later my fearlessness has had its ups and its downs. When I was in middle school, it seemed natural to me that I would conquer all that I needed to conquer by my early twenties. My preteen logic factored in a whole lot of luck and a whole lot of unrealistic expectations. I guess that is the beauty of being innocently young.

But now that I’m in my early twenties, I realize how sorely wrong my younger self was. I’m 21 and I feel like the authenticity of my life is just beginning. I’ve spent a lot of time in college crying, dreaming, and laying awake at night because I was petrified and excited about the future all at the same time. I’ve never felt such conflicting emotions all at once. I’ve had countless “what the hell do I do with my life” conversations with my friends, parents and even a few random kids I’ve met at the library along the way.

I’ve spent so much time worrying about something that, to a certain extent, I have no control over. But what I do have control over, is how much I care. I care about my future. I care about where I end up. I care about how successful I’m going to be in this life.

I think those of us who are in our early twenties tend to forget how much that really counts for. Most of us have dreams big and small. I will be the first one to admit how easy it is to downgrade that dream into something more attainable.

Stop doing that.

Stop telling yourself you can’t do it. Stop making excuses. Stop worrying about the “what-ifs”. If you relate to this article in the slightest, then you are much too far to turn back now. You need to give yourself more credit. You have put way too much work into the past however many years and you are not going to stop.

Settling for something less than what you are happy with is the nightmare that will haunt you for the rest of your life.

I know this all sounds like an overplayed song. But don’t you think that its overplayed because we need to hear it more than once to keep going?

Some of my favorite stories are of people who thought they had it all figured out and ended up in a completely different direction. They went from point A and ended up at point Q. The more that time passes on, the more I realize just how ridiculous it is to think I’ve figured it out – or anything out. I can begin to see the beauty in the chaos and uncertainty.

So just stop making yourself ill over your future. Because I have this theory that if you care as much as you think you do, it will work out. And if it doesn’t I hope you have enough fearlessness in you to keep going until it does work out. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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