Embracing uncertainty | My Turn: Ayla Khan

I can never stay tied down to one idea of what I want to do in the future. One day, I’ll want to be scouted out by talent agencies and given the starring role in the next hit television series, even though I have never tried acting. The next day I will want nothing more than to get into a rocket ship and step foot on the moon, despite my complete disinterest in anything math or physics related.

As a senior in high school, it is now the time to make my decision of where I want to go and what I want to accomplish in my life. If I knew that my future held guaranteed success, I would go into something that people consider risky. I would design and build the next world landmark as a sculptor, or write the most intriguing book series on the planet. But nobody is ever guaranteed success, and this fact makes me feel lost. I am anxious and confused, completely unsure of what is going to happen in the upcoming years of my life. 

I have never even been able to fully commit to a passion. I have been taking piano lessons since kindergarten; this has been my longest extracurricular. Though I really enjoy piano now, if my mom didn’t push me to continue, I know that my middle-school self would have quit. I have tried out countless clubs and hobbies, all of them completely unrelated, hoping that I would discover my secret talent. Robotics, Tae Kwon Do, writing club, jazz band, Go Green, culture club, and more. Some I did for a few years, some I tried for a few days. Either way, nothing fully stuck.

As much as I enjoyed trying out so many different clubs and activities, I was never able to find my passion through these organizations. It was very discouraging; it seemed as though everybody else was good at something and everybody else had a passion. 

Though it wasn’t good for me or my mental health, I could not stop comparing myself to everyone around me. DHS is full of intelligent and talented students. I had a hard time putting myself into this category, because I felt as though I was always one level lower than my peers, even if I wasn’t. This feeling was very debilitating, and I needed to change my thinking. I may not have one specific thing I want to pursue as a career, but this does not mean that I do not have any strengths.

I realized that through my experimentation with different interests and activities, I have become a more open-minded individual. I have been able to see and learn about so many new things, and have not limited myself to one specific subject. I can rule out what I do not enjoy, and keep improving in what I do. I have come to appreciate the fact that I am always ready for something new, and this has helped me see myself in a much more positive manner. 

Who knows, maybe one day you will see my name on billboards across the country, advertising my big Netflix debut. Perhaps my book will be sitting in the window of your favorite bookstore. Though I am unsure of what the future holds for me and everyone else, I know that life is unexpected, and that it will constantly surprise us. Not being tied down to one clear path of what I want my life to look like may end up being a good thing, because I will always be up for an adventure.

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Ayla Khan

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