I have just finished with high school. I stand here on the brink if my future, looking out to what lies ahead, and I feel like I’m standing out on the sea shore, looking out to the vast blue ocean. It is exciting.
The thing about me is I have always been ambitious. Since I was in Grade 1, I wanted to be president; the 8 year-old me wanted to study at Cambridge University; and I’ve just dreamed and dreamed of traveling and exploring the world.
This is where the plot thickens, things get complicated, and I start developing those questions with no answers.
One of my most recent dreams has been to study in the USA, at a very specific Liberal Arts College. So I went for it – wrote my SATs, spent hours developing my essay and I sent in my application. Then, the 12th of December comes and I download the decision letter, with my fingers super tightly crossed (it is a very elite college and hard to get into), and before me I see the words, “We regret to deny your application.” Rejection.
I am no stranger to rejection, but that didn’t make it sting any less. After picturing my future a certain way, it is incredibly hard to imagine it another way. But I had to.
Also, my biggest fear in life is being ordinary. And going to the USA would have been my chance to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Anyhoo, there I am, dreams falling apart, going through slight depression when I get a phone call, a few days later at about 7pm. It’s someone from The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation (very cool fellowship for South African students). I hear the words, “Congratulations, you have been selected to be an Allan Gray fellow.”
Everything can change in an ordinary instant.
So, here I am. I can imagine a profound future for myself again.
My mom said to me that I was rejected from the US college for a reason, because Allan Gray is going to be better for my future.
Then I began to wonder. Is there some external force in the universe that worked its magic? Do we have a predestined path (was mine to stay in South Africa)? Was it just a random coincidence? Do we each only have one true path in our lives? Or was this just one out of many possibilities?
Sorry to leave you hanging, but these are the questions with no answers….
I like to think it was, as my mom says, meant to be. I like to think that there is a fantastic path for me. All I know for certain is whether it’s predetermined or a series of coincidences, I’m going to turn whatever comes my way into an opportunity for magnificence.