This I Believe

Courtney - Hanover, New Hampshire
Entered on September 18, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem

I believe in uncertainty, in the unknown path that is life when we allow ourselves to truly live it. I’ve been raised to think that uncertainty will get me nowhere, that preparation and confidence pave the way to ultimate happiness and prosperity. But to me, this seems ideal, more so than real. I believe in uncertainty. I believe in living life the only way it can be lived, unsure of the final destination and unclear of the path, but committed to the moment, no matter the outcome. To me, the essence of life is living, which is only really done so at the expense of certainty.

I live to explore. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a relentless quest for perfection. I am a slave to my ambition, while my desire to make a difference humbles me. As a well educated adult, I’ve been taught how to graciously accept praise and how to respond maturely to criticism. But I have never been formally taught how to deal with uncertainty. As such, I have been taught to react and have had to learn on my own how to live. And I’ve done just that. Throughout my 28 years, I’ve embraced challenges, managed heartbreak, exceeded expectations, and tried out many new things. I accept that the unknown is real and I believe in reality.

As an Ivy League graduate, one grueling thesis away from an advanced degree, and employed in a career I value, my journey appears as prescribed as any. I smile more than most and I am confident. Like a cat falling from a third floor window, I always seem to land on my feet and I’ve always hit the ground running. I believe in the good in people and I have faith in the watchful eye from above. But these traits do not equate to certainty, instead they provide me the strength to live life to the fullest.

All too often uncertainty is a word unfairly greeted with disrespect, mistakenly assumed to be a weakness. Like most, I’m uncertain about where I will end up and how I’ll get there, but I’m only uncertain about the path, never the journey. Instead, I embrace the unknown. I live to take care of my body, to nurture my soul, and to expand my mind- and that is hardly “certain” terrain. Living life continually leads me down an unknown path and that is precisely what it is supposed to do. After all, my life is still in progress- it is an evolving adventure. It seems that those who long for the outcome and sit comfortably in the knowing always seem to miss the journey, but I refuse to be handicapped by uncertainty. I live to live. And I’m content with the truth that life will make certain, one way or another, so long as I simply live for the journey.