By Katie Hershberger
I do not know what to think of the future. I feel a generational gap between what my generation desires versus what the prior generations desire. When I think about my future, I desire to be like one of those big, burly biker men. The kind that look terrifying, and people fear to approach, but not actually be terrifying. I would love to be one of those androgyneous looking, artsy kids. The ones that seem to spew creativity and beauty out of every pore. I hope to one day be like a teacher that is always there for their students. The type to bend over backwards for their students. But I do not know what to do.
I do not know what I should expect for the future. Should I expect to be in poverty? To be without a single dollar in my pocket, unless I happened to find a stray bill on the sidewalk. Should I expect to be living check-to-check? Or, should I expect riches beyond the eye’s view? Should I plan for parties every weekend, and a cushy office job with incredible benefits? I could expect anything, but I do not believe I’d ever be ready for it. I simply do not know what to do.
I do not know who I’ll stay connected with. Would it be better to ghost everyone before they ghost me, in order to avoid the embarrassment? Will everyone I cherish decide to no longer enjoy my company? If so, how do I tell? Will I be able to find a lover? Would a lover even be important for my future? I hope for my friends and I to still be together in the future. I yearn for our group to stay strong and active. But I do not know what to do.
I do not know how I will progress as a person. Will I be worse? Better? The same? I have no way to tell, and it worries me. Will I be less closed off? Will I learn to stop overthinking? To stop having needless anxiety? How hard of a worker will I be? I would adore to live a careless, quiet life. I would love to have a little garden to tend to, maybe with a lover. But I do not know what to do.
The future is something that both intrigues me and terrifies me. I never do, and never will, know what to expect, and that worries me. The future is the one aspect I wish to control the most, but it’s one of the few that I genuinely cannot control. I wish to be so many different people, all in the same person. I solely hope that I can live my dream. I desire to both be alone and to have company. Everything I wish for contradicts itself, and it troubles me. That is also what makes me human: worry.
I do not completely know what it means to be human. What exactly is the criteria? Is it emotion, or is it business-like stature? Is it love, or being content alone? I feel humanity is subjective, and what is needed to qualify is different between every person. Some may say a heartbeat constitutes a person to be human, others may say culture makes us. I feel this piece has gone philosophical, but this is what I know to write about. Worry comes naturally to me, therefore it naturally comes out in the words I type. But I do not know what to do.
I do not know how to thank others. I may not know the right way, but I do want to thank anyone who stayed to read this piece. I have been really interested in philosophical-style pieces as well as poetry, so I wanted to try something similar. This piece feels like my raw emotions, put into a more digestible reading. I want to say thank you to anybody who read this piece. But I do not know what to do.
Katie Hershberger is a student at Kingsland High School. She is one of 14 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 23rd year.