If I could choose one word to describe how I feel right now it would be “uncertain”. I’m uncertain about my next semester at university. Uncertain of where I’m going to live next year. Uncertain of when a vaccine will come. Uncertain of how American politics will unfold in coming days, weeks, and years.
As I sit on the edge of 20, delicately swaying between my teenage years and impending adulthood, a lack of certainty intrudes every part of my life. These are the prime years of identity formation, and I stand on unstable ground. My “passion projects” have taken a backseat, as my community asks me to display a clearly defined set of beliefs.
With all the uncertainty fluctuating across the globe, I know one thing for sure: that I don’t know. I don’t know who exactly I want to be in a year. Or five years. Or twenty. I’m slowly building a political and social identity with information I receive, sifting through media bias, attempting to formulate an opinion independent of my parents. This process has been expedited in recent days, and I feel the overwhelming pressure to know exactly who I am and what I should be. I don’t want to be another empty voice; I want my words to echo with honest conviction.
Like many Americans, I realize the need to assess and mobilize my energy. I recognize my fortunate position, yet I do not fully comprehend the nuanced dialogue unfolding in my social spheres. I’m uncertain. I think, I hope it’s okay to feel this way. I find comfort in knowing my parents raised me to rely upon a system of values. But I also see the need to grow beyond these instincts, to develop my awareness through education.
And I’m uncertain where this road may lead. I do not know if I’m reading the right books or watching the right videos. I have come to think there may not be a perfect path to follow, but rather a steady elevation awareness. It’s a beautiful thing, to learn and to create your own opinions. But I also must remember that I am 20. I cannot demand life experience through the guise of YouTube videos and tweets. I can only hope my children will one day be proud to know the woman I’m currently creating.