while I stare at the ceiling by Aanavi

Recently, I have been dealing with many questions about where I see myself being in the future. About to start my second year at university in a different continent, I’ve had the privilege of being exposed to two very distinct worlds.

All throughout my life I have been acquainted with people belonging to many different cultures and countries, with varying perspectives on life and different values and principles. I have found my own place amongst all these different lifestyles, a place that does not belong entirely here, nor there. After having spent a year at university in a country that is not my own, I managed to find my place in what was once an alien city. I have been able to integrate my views with those who closely surround me, and coexist with a variety of people, all while continuing to learn and grow from people I meet.

I would consider myself as having settled in university, and can think of the city as home- just as much as the city I have grown up in. However, the issue that continues to present itself, is that in both these cities- where I’m from and where I live- have almost nothing in common. The social circles, the way of life, the manner of thinking, all differ greatly. Nevertheless, I have been able to place myself in both environments satisfactorily.

However, when I look to the future, and where I see myself being, I find that I can picture myself in many different environments, leading many different lifestyles. I can imagine my day progressing in many different ways. Yet, I cannot imagine myself committing to just one of the many lifestyles I have envisioned for myself.

Such musings, combined with the vast contrast of the lives I lead in the city of my origin and the city I live, raises many uncomfortable questions of whether I will ever lead a stable life that I am content with. After the initial weeks of adjusting, I have found myself happy wherever I am, with whoever I am with, and with whatever I am doing. One might say that it is an advantage to be able to adapt quickly, but the problem is that I cannot seem to choose any one environment over the other. I am not dissatisfied, but I cannot confidently say that this is the life I want for myself in the future as well.

Since the age of nine, I have experienced many changes in life, both internally and externally. Each change is, at first, unwelcome, and once I have settled I cannot imagine an alternate environment at all. On one hand I am used to living a temporary life- having a lifestyle that would last only for a few months- but on the other hand I find myself craving stability.

But when I think of that stability, I cannot seem to pinpoint exactly what it is that I want to do. It is more than just a question of my possible career path, it is about where I could be, who I could be with, the kind of person I could be.

I know very well that the future is uncertain, and that one can never plan everything out. However, I am at the stage in my life where I find myself thinking about a possible direction my life could go, and I can find none.

Having said all of this, I now wonder, if I have been looking in the wrong place all this time. I am constantly searching for external stabilities, and making external choices when the truth is that I am the only one stability in my life. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I will be the one experiencing it.

In that case, I want to look inward, to try and find stability and contentment within myself, to try and search inwards. This, of course, is no easy task. Perhaps the hardest thing one can do is confront oneself. However, I am increasingly finding that this seems to be the only answer for many of the questions that float in my mind. You can move, you can change your job, but you can never abandon yourself.

I hope that in the years to come I will be able to learn and understand more about myself, over and above the world around me. I am still unsure of how this journey will progress, or how I will be able to look inwards when I am so sensitive to my immediate environment, but I hope that I will finally feel that stability one day.

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