The “What Next” Question

A wise man,
is one who after many years of learning,
still able to say “I don’t know”..
Because, life, all life, is about asking questions,
It’s not about knowing answers..

(~Allie Keys – Taken, The Series)

 You see, for me, life can be seen as a series of chapters – stepping stones, opportunities, branches splitting off into a million different directions, big and small decisions. These chapters may have obvious beginnings and ends, and sometimes those definitions are blurred. The key thing to keep in mind is that all segments flow together. Everything falls into place, whether we plan it that way or not.

With all chapters, there are underlying themes. There are questions that come and go with the passage of time. One of the questions that I could never shake was “What comes next?” No matter how far I ran in my life, it kept pace. Wherever I went, it’s like accompany me.

I remember when college graduation came and went, there it was again: “What comes next?” And this time, it wasn’t only my mind asking the question – it felt like the entire world was fixated with what my response would be.

It’s hard to think of it. It seems that I’ve done my part, you know. I did what I have to do. And, what to do next in life? This question is always asked by myself for these few weeks. Especially, when September is coming next, and I’ll celebrate my birthday, and it’s always the month and time where I reflect about my own life.

Chasing The Dream vs Living The Dream

I understand, that what I’ve achieved so far, it all look too perfect. The job that aligned with my passion for particular engineering discipline? Check. A high level overseas career? Check. Having a job that inline with work/life balance? Check. Permanent job with all security? Check.

I know I’ve climbed up that “impossible ladder” in my own life. But, after actually achieve this, What next? It’s, indeed, an interesting question because for the first time in my life, I really don’t have an exact answer.

I spent nearly four years knowing what was next, and I know exactly that I really put a big effort, hard work, and overcome all the struggle to achieve it. After all, the looming prospect of those previous year’s experiment really made me focused. But, what next, though?

Because truth is, I’ve never been in this phase of my life before, you know. I used to live on chasing the dream, but once I got the dream, and continue living with all the routine in it, I felt that I need to adapt on actually living in the dream itself.

There is No Exact Answer

I’d acknowledge after taking a moment to really think about what the answer to that life-altering question, I realized that it’s not a question that necessarily seeks out a concrete, unalterable answer. Because yeah, we really don’t know about what happen in the future, for all we know is all those possibilities. For sure, we want the better tomorrow.

“What comes next” is answered in day-to-day life. It opens the door, so to speak, for a series of mini “what come nexts.” It provides the essentials for a great story – “what comes next” is the beginning and end and beginning again to a phenomenal adventure. I just see it that way.

Maybe, “what’s next” is a question that will always be there. Though it sometimes has an awful connotation, it’s actually a beautiful problem. I just have to remember that, the only expectations that truly matter are my own. Because, what’s next should be an adventure, and that should be enough.

What comes next isn’t a permanent decision, and shouldn’t be viewed as such. So, I think for now is to just keep doing what I’m doing, leave the room to grow, learning to be better in terms of technical knowledge, writing what I’ve learned, and maintaining the status quo.

I don’t want to rush through my “what next?”, but rather embrace every life decision I make, and make sure it’s the right one for me. More than anything else, I’m grateful. I’ve worked hard, and it’s been rewarded. I’ve overcome my fear and taking a really big step on my career which impact my life in general.

I am writing my own history – write them well…

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