the final year

I hate the kind of finality that’s slowly creeping up. It’s a new year, 2015, so that means we’re entering our final years of university. And that’s frickin’ scary.

There’s a certain air of finality, of irreversibility that comes with entering your last year of anything. It’s hard for 12th graders, but it’s a nightmare for seniors in university. Because it means that at this age (which someone randomly chose), we’re ready to finish school. And that’s scary.

It’s scary if you don’t have a purpose. And few of us do. It’s wonderful to slowly see your live revolve around a purpose that you’re confident about, or that you’re passionate and excited about. But for everyone else, whose purposes slowly unravel, who lose confidence in the legitimacy of that purpose, who lose confidence in the absoluteness, sustainability, happiness of following that purpose, or who lose faith in themselves, it’s insanity.

Life decisions are… hard. Wouldn’t be a life decision if it weren’t. It’d be a day decision, like lunch. Or a week decision, like those groceries. And if I’m not even equipped to decide whether I want to eat cabbage or asparagus for the rest of the week (neither because I’m a really bad cook), how am I supposed to decide where I should go for the next couple years of my life?

School has a crazy safe ephemeral quality to it. 4 months of school is long, but you know it’s going to end. 4 months of work is long, but you know you’re out soon. But getting a real full-time job? Committing to working somewhere for a couple years? Given that I’ll probably not be working in Toronto living with my family, I’m going to have to move out to the middle of nowhere and start a new life. It sounds great. But it also sounds insane.

I envy the people who can look to the future with that crazy-eyed confidence. I can be confident in the things I’m confident in (yes), but there are so many other things that I have no clue about, and that I have no idea how to get better at. I know. I’ve been trying for a while now. It’s insane. And I have this irrational hope that it’ll be fixed one day just magically. And it’s wrong. And I know it’s wrong. And it’s crazy.

I’m at a new coop job at Microsoft on the Windows desktop team and it’s literally a dream come true. It’s something every little Windows-using nerd dreams about happening to them – looking behind the scenes of Windows, working on behind the scenes stuff, listening to people who actually care about Windows (literally all the Macbooks in my class), learning about all the little stuff you had no idea about, learning about all the things you thought you knew but you really don’t, being around stuff you’re excited about. That’s a feeling I’ve never had at a job. And it kind of makes you think “would I be comfortable here”? And we’re back to that scary crazy insanity.

My mentor, in the first week, tried to drilled this into my mind, “everyone, everywhere, is always winging it, all the time”. I agree, but it’s really hard to totally accept this. And it’s an even scarier idea to think about, rather than comforting like I think he imagined it would be. Essentially it goes like, we should always try to do the best that we can do, because that’s what everyone else does, and that’s how the world goes around. And we should totally always be just making the best out of the situation that’s given to us.

I’m afraid. And I know everyone else is afraid as well, but they’re hiding it. And that’s okay too, I guess. It would probably be crazy to not be scared inside. The world is crazy, and we’re just little crazy spinning cogs hoping we accidentally jam ourselves somewhere that lets us spin with the world. Or some other weird analogy.


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