My name is Mackenzie Morgan and I have a confession to make. I’m nineteen years old, a sophomore in college and I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.
I know, I know. You’re laughing and rolling your eyes. “No one does, it’s okay,” you offer. But these platitudes do little to ease the cloud of anxiety that hovers over my head when this thought passes. I know that I’m not alone. I know that there are a lot of people who don’t know what they’re doing. But I do know what I’m doing. I always know what I’m doing. I’m the one who plans. I always have a plan. I have to know what I’m doing. I have to plan.
And I do have a plan but there are too many variables and too much uncertainty for me to accurately predict the outcome. I don’t know when my life became a science experiment; I always thought it was more of a novel in progress and that I was in charge of the plot line.
I always thought I was a person who knew what I wanted, but it turns out all I ever knew was that I wanted something. I always had an answer when asked what I wanted to do. I wanted to be the President. I wanted to be a lawyer, a journalist, a teacher. I wanted to do it all; I want to do it all.
My problem isn’t that I don’t know what I want to do, but rather that I want to do too much. I know exactly what I want to do.
I want to bea teacher
a journalista politician
a flight attendant
And I can’t. I can’t do it all. And I struggle with that.
If I could be a superhero my power would be having ten careers. (What’s that you’re saying? What do you mean that’s not a cool superpower?)
I don’t believe in fate or destiny, so I guess I can’t pretend that I have some magical career calling. I guess I have to accept the fact that I wasn’t one of those kids who played with dinosaurs and knew that I was going to be a paleontologist. I guess I will never be able to tell a cute story at my future career about how I had always wanted to be a…
… a what? What am I going to be?
Maybe it isn’t my indecision that’s abnormal but rather society’s expectations of a decision. We live about 80-100 years. That’s a long time. Sure, I guess I can’t simultaneously teach, write, fight for justice and save the world (are you sure I can’t be a superhero?), but I see no reason why I can’t do all of them at some point, especially now when more and more people are going back to school and changing their careers. It turns out that I do know what I’m going to do with my life and that is that I’m not going to decide what to do with my life, because I don’t have to.