Illustration by Harley Turso
By Samantha Rathbun
Confusion, uncertainty, hesitation, doubt. Those are feelings that we all encounter in our lives, no matter who you are or where you are from. Facing these emotions seems like an enormous feat, which is why many turn their backs and run in the opposite direction.
The future has always been something that terrified me. The idea that one day I will no longer walk the Earth. The fact that one day my memory will cease to exist and I will be launched out of existence, but there has always been one question that I have yet to answer: how can I leave a legacy?
A legacy can give someone meaning in their life. It is the reassurance that they walked this Earth with a purpose and impacted others along the way.
One of the first ideas that comes to mind when one thinks of how they will be remembered is their career. What did they do? Who did they help? Were they simply living paycheck to paycheck or were they truly happy with what they had chosen?
Everyone has the fear of choosing the “wrong” career and to be honest, many often do. At times, I feel as if I am being pulled in a multitude of different directions. A part of me wants to travel and visit the most outlandish places on Earth, yet another part of me wants to be able to settle down and have a family. How is it possible to choose a career that satisfies both?
Like many, I have more than one passion in life. I find joy in helping others as well as spending time with animals, yet I would also love to be holed up in a lab somewhere working on a cure for cancer.
You may ask yourself, “how is it that I am so confused?” In reality, I can look at each and every outcome and none of them make me feel as if I will leave a legacy, yet I know if I happen to turn my back, I will never accomplish anything.
Allowing these outcomes to pile up in my head was the first mistake. I allowed others to voice their opinions and I let that influence me. It was all so incredibly overwhelming.
When you learn to speak up for what you believe in and the actions you want to take in life, you will no longer feel as if you are stuck in the mud. The beauty of this world will show itself to you and you will truly know what it feels like to be happy.
The best thing about life is that there is no one who can stop you from starting over. It is simply in our human nature to make mistakes. Everyone hits roadblocks in life, you just need to learn how to work around them. If you pick the “wrong” career choice, it’s never too late to go back and start over again in a job or study that you think will bring you joy.
As long as you have an open mind and a heart that is willing to take you anywhere, you can find the right path for your journey. Now go get a fresh start on your new legacy.