— 12 Sep 2017

personal

On Uncertainty

This is pretty much a train of thoughts that I had last week, when everyone asked the same question: “so what are you gonna do after university?”

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Up ‘til a few months ago I thought I knew what I’d be doing later in life. Now: ¯\(ツ)

It’s not because I don’t love what I’m doing. In fact I do with a capital L. I love doing plenty of things but even though I’m no prodigy, computers will always have a special spot in my heart. But the more you think you know stuff… well, you don’t.

I often say to myself that there are so many wonders in this world. Along with that, there are also as many issues yet to be solved (my mother once said “the world will always try to find its balance”). I thought I had picked mine, the one(s) I’d go after ‘til the day I die.

But what I had failed to notice was this: things change. The world is moving at a CRAZY pace. What exists now might be mere history in the future.

Then there are the things that I can’t talk about because they simply haven’t existed yet. My 7-year-old “I want to be a doctor” self didn’t know that data science will exist at some point. I bet most people had no idea too. Did your job description right now exist 10 years ago?

The mind-boggling thing is, this will keep happening. Perhaps even at a faster rate. This means no matter how many experiences you have under your belt, no matter how much you know, there’s always going to be something new, something entirely different looming in the future. Something you don’t know yet.

This is why I’m getting comfortable with not knowing, with uncertainty. Years ago I’d lose my head over the fact that I still don’t know what I want to do in life. I had my entire life planned out, like a map of a carefully structured city that will never go through hurricanes, storms, or earthquakes, ever.

Months ago I still disdained myself for wanting to do too many things in life–I hated myself for not fitting into any particular box. Why can’t I just be a programmer, period, and be super damn good at it? Why do I always want to do many things at a time?

I don’t know when exactly I began to accept all of this madness, but well: uncertainty is OK. Not knowing what to do is OK.

If so, what sets this attitude apart from pure ignorance?

For me it goes down to one thing: a vision. I want to make a positive impact for people. Yeah, as you can see there are no fancy words right there. I’d be a bad copywriter, I guess. But at least it serves its purpose, as a vision. I won’t say that I’m “lost” as long as I have one.

Going back to the map analogy, right now I might not have a map with me. I’ve bid my “so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen goodbye” to the map. But despite that, I’m sure as hell what kind of place I want myself to arrive in.

So there you go. What do you want to do after university? In life? I don’t know. ¯\(ツ)/¯ But like Tolkien said, not all those who wander are lost. 🎉