By Alex Pentimonti
“If there is hope in the future, there is literally power in the present.”
– Zig Ziglar
Ah, yes, the age-old question that we as young people get asked all of the time – responding with a quick, “doctor,” “lawyer,” or “nurse” – all wonderful professions. While it’s a nice comfort to know what we want out of our futures, we are often boxed in by those responses, leaving out part of who we are in the process. So, truly, who do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered?
Me? Who will I be? The truth is, really, I haven’t a clue of what I’m going to pursue as a career, where I’ll live, who I’ll be married to, if I’ll have children or pets, or even what my house will look like. I know that I want to be loved, and that’s all I really need, but there are just so many gaps in my “life plan” I haven’t even filled in with my imagination. I guess, compared to those individuals who have clear ideas of what they’re going to be from the very start, I am a drifter. I know that that’s supposed to scare me, but, in reality, that just gives me the gift of leading a life full of opportunities.
Even though I don’t have the traditional plan, I actually know who I want to be – when I’m 25, 75, or just next week. I know that I want to be known for having a big heart, for kindness, for giving unconditional love, and for being eternally grateful for those who make life worth living. Yes, it would be lovely to have a great big house with a rose garden and a closet full of high-heeled shoes, but that’s not what I want to leave behind. I want to leave a legacy that matters. I want to have my friends over for dinner, see my family, and give gifts to the people I care about for absolutely no reason at all. I know that I will be a person who gives more than they receive, caring for others because they know that they would do the same in return. That’s compassion, and I aspire to that.
When it’s all said and done, I know that I’ll go on some pretty grand adventures, whether half-way across the globe or right in my backyard, because while a lot of things are uncertain, surprising events occurring are not. I have a quote above my desk from Blaise Pascal that reads, “We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.” And that’s true. I might be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or a famous singer, or an author – who really knows? For right now, I’m embracing the present while I still have it. At the end of the day, I know that I’ll lead a life full of uncertainty, love, hope, joy, and fear. But, to be completely honest, I’m enjoying not knowing, because life is a journey, and I must let the future surprise me.
What about you? What sets your soul on fire? Who do you want to be? Do you want to be kind, selfless, joyful, or proud, or everything in between? The truth is, it doesn’t matter, because you will end up being the exact beautiful and unexpected person that you’re supposed to be. So, next time, tell anyone who asks you what you aspire to be that you want to be you and whatever makes you that you. Live your own truth, not someone else’s version of happiness, but yours alone. Live your life to the fullest, capture the good, the bad, the ugly, and the lovely to their entireties and let your future take you. Strap in, buckle up, and hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be a ride.
Oh, and there’s just one rule:
BECOME WHO YOU ARE.
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