Standing at the threshold between high school and university, presented with different paths before you to choose from. And you wonder - how do I make the right decision? Ah, welcome to the card game. Let's begin.
I’ve got all the cards laid out before me on the table. Each one a different choice, leading me into different journeys, giving me different experiences, highlighting different aspects, telling me who I am and eventually making me who I’ll be; determining the life I’ll live and who I’ll live it as.
"Which do I choose? Can I choose more than one? Can I turn back after picking a card to pick again? What about the cards in my pocket that I want to pick but am too afraid to place on the playing table, because if I lose it’ll cost me too much? What are the rules of this game? Will anybody tell me what’s going to happen? Will anybody give me certainty?"
My hand hovers over the different cards, faced down before me but I know the choice on each one, just not where it might lead me. And I’m scared. Anxious. Worried. Stressed. Weighed down. I don’t want to lose this game of life - I just don't.
It was 2016 when I first had the cards laid before me. Each one a choice of a path I’d take once I graduate from college that year. I’d sit nervously before my cards. My hand would slowly hover over each one.
The first card. English Literature. I love it. I love stories and the deeper meaning behind one of them and how they have power to move us. But my parents are so worried I wouldn’t be able to find a job. No, I can’t pick this yet.
My hand hovered over the next card, casting an ominous shadow over it. I flipped it over. Psychology. I’ve always been so good at understanding human emotions. Like, why do people say what they say or do what they do? But I might get emotionally drained. No, I can’t pick this yet.
I cautiously moved through all my cards one by one like they were bombs that might go off. Speech Pathology. Journalism. Drama. Writing. Each choice placed on the table for different reasons and an expression of my different interests.
It’s the year 2020 now. The card game I played in 2016 has long been over. A choice was made. A path was set down. And a series of experiences and events followed. So here I am.
What about YOU? Who are you? What do you want out of life? What are your career choices? What are your interests and hobbies? What are you good at? What do you need?
In other words, what are your cards?
When I had the cards laid before me, I remember feeling so alone and directionless, so afraid that whichever path I take, it won’t lead me to a life where I can live out my fullest potential and be most free. I was constrained by what my parents wanted for me.
Maybe you have similar concerns, or maybe your worries are completely different from mine.
Maybe you're worried because you don't know what you like or don't like. Or maybe you’re stressed because you have no idea how to pursue the path you want. Or maybe you’re scared that your choice wouldn't give you a stable income or job?. Or maybe you're caught between two choices and it feels painful to give one up.
A myriad of different thoughts might be going on in your head.
I understand. Standing at the crossroads is hard. Making choices is hard. Having too many cards on the table is hard. Having no cards at all on the table is hard. Not knowing what the future holds is hard. Feeling alone and unsupported is hard. Stress and anxiety is hard.
I get you. Take deep breaths. It’ll be okay. You’re going through a beautiful phase in life, where you get to discover more about who you are and what you want. You’ll be able to awaken to your life, take ownership of it and live. You’ll be able to become more you; be filled and fill the world. You’ll get to be empowered and make choices over the precious and potential-filled life that is yours. If you let it, the card game will make you not break you. I promise.
Before we end part one of the card game, I have a little assignment for all of you.
Why don't you take this week to reflect and ask yourself what are your choices? And when you do, know that you're not mapping out your different choices and possibilities alone. Many others are doing the same too. Trust me.
Next week, I'll be sharing with you some tips and advice on how to make the best decisions for yourself based on your choices. But for now, it's time for you to begin your game.
Create your cards.
Lay them down.
You can do this.
I believe in you.
Durleka (Follow me on IG!)