• Kanyia Charles

Fear of the Future

I am an Artist. I am passionate about almost any and everything. My head is scattered with vivid ideas that I have no idea how to execute. Messy notebooks, messy hair, messy life. There isn't a thing considered "realistic" in my mind- and I like it like that. My limits are unknown. I live in the world that I created for myself. My imagination will one day take over me and I will be living in a reality where colors and drawings appear after every footstep, painting pictures of all the random things I want to be. Sometimes I think there aren't enough years in a lifetime to master everything I want to learn. There are so much things I could study in college. Media studies, philosophy, creative writing, anthropology, psychology, literature, food...I want to learn as much as I can.

I'm stuck constantly daydreaming of what I could be. Who will I be? I wan't to leave for a minute. Picture this:

I'm on the top floor of one the many luxurious apartments located in the heart of Manhattan, with a view overlooking the city skyline. It's New Years Eve, and "Lush Life" by Ella Fitzgerald is playing on my business partner's music box. Jazz is in the air and I can smell the strong scent of rich perfumes these wealthy young women are wearing. I am surrounded by a crowd of successful people, both young and old. They are all discussing their business and announcing upcoming projects, making connections along the way. You see the smiling faces of people who are happy doing what they all love. Getting lost in a mixture of fine wine and public affair. It's the perfect scenario that I've always dreamed of, yet it feels like i'm trapped behind a two way glass with no form of outside communication to society.

My hands are fumbling in my pockets and I feel myself zoning in and out of reality as multiple people walk past, not knowing who I am at all. I feel isolated from the rest, my anxiety is beginning to take over me again. Do I even belong here?

When I picture this reality of my future I feel a sense of panic and uncertainty. It feels good to think of the treasures of it all and knowing that i'm doing something I love. But when reality strikes, what will I be? Will I fall off after my first an only bestselling novel? Will I be considered "mediocre" compared to other writers around me? What happens when I sink into writers block for yet another year? Will I even be able to handle the ongoing pressure of attending these business parties and social events? When will I crash? Will my creativity one day vanish from my being and leave me as nothing but an artist with potential who "could've been"? Will I die before I even get a chance to see?

I think that the main thing I'm afraid of is losing my creativity. I know I have nothing to brag for my academic life and i'm not all that book smart, but one thing I can say i that I am a creator. The one thing that I know I can definitely do is write. I'm afraid that I am losing my creativity because I feel like i'm not producing the type of content that I used to. Or maybe I just don't know how anymore? What happens then?

Then I begin to picture myself as a struggling actress. Working 9-5 at a local coffee shop, forever waiting on the day I will finally get my big break. 1 But that break never comes I guess. I'd be broke, living off of a degree that gets me nowhere. And instead I'll serve a handsome young fellow a latte one day. And life will continue to paint itself in wondrous ways.

Life has a funny way of working out. What I may expect to be my downfall may instead be the best thing that's ever happened in my life. And I hate to have these thoughts but what of that doesn't happen? I have no idea of what my life will be like after college. I don't know who or what i'm going to end up being. And I am scared.

I'm scared of not succeeding, and of success itself. As I've mentioned in my first post, "The Other Kid", i'm not used to having the spotlight or being acknowledged for my work. I'm not used to getting criticism or praise on a daily basis with expectations of producing great work each time. Is my fantasy of a "Lush Life" something that I can handle as my reality? Would I be better off with a normal life, settling down and becoming a therapist instead? I'm not sure which life is best for me and sometimes I don't think I have much control over what it will be anyway. All I hope is that i'm happy.

There is so much to learn about in the huge amount of time I hope to have left. I don't think I can do just one thing and I don't want to neither. I am a multi-talented person and I want to express those talents to the world. My struggle is figuring out exactly what to do, where to start, what my plan is. But I must reassure myself. I am young, I like to believe that I am great at what I do, and it's okay to not have my life fully figured out yet.

The best I can do is try and set my mind on the main goal. Being afraid of the things we aren't sure of is perfectly normal and by focusing on all the negative "what if's", "and's" or "but's" is only going to place you in the mindset that you can't achieve. So if you're unsure of what you want to do for your future, think about what you love. Find the one thing that keeps you grounded, that you would want to spend the rest of your life doing. Focus on that and try to pursue it. Life is a risky ride in each step you take. Not everyone is born with a map, sometimes we have to go through trial and error to find the best route. The future is scary, especially as a high school or college student. But none of us can see the future, not everything may turn out as planned.

If you find yourself in a place that you don't want to be in, then continue to work towards the future you want. If you are content with the life you end up with, good for you. Life isn't all about living the Lush Life we dreamed of when we were young, we have to find our true happiness in contentment. Live the life that you love.