I just spent the last hour on LinkedIn, scanning the career progressions of various individuals with similar interests as me. I have not even started my summer internship yet, much less finish the semester, but I am already stressed about my job prospects for the next year.
Will I get a return offer? Do I want a return offer?
These are all questions that swirl my immediate consciousness. Although I had taken a break from the subject after I had landed my summer internship last semester, I find it difficult to continue to allow myself the luxury to preoccupy my thoughts with other subjects, such as love or existentialism. I find it difficult to focus, knowing that the first leap into the next phase of my life will be determined within the next semester of school. If, of course, the recruitment process goes well for me.
But, I never quite like relying on the ifs of the universe, as the ifs generally go in the direction that I want them to go. I suppose it is an intuition that I had picked up from experience. Or, perhaps, it is not even experience at all. Perhaps, I was born with a natural propensity towards disillusionment. Or, perhaps, my tendencies towards pessimism were cultivate through my willingness towards vulnerability. I suppose I know very little about myself. But, regardless of the reason, I have always found it hard to believe that things will, proverbially, work out.
It is something that my friends keep on telling me: Things will work out.
I would ask, “Why?”
They would reply, “I don’t know. They always do.”
But, I do not believe that things will work out. There is no reason for things to work out. In fact, it seems quite contradictory in itself. The fact that things “work out” for some people means that things do not “work out” for others. It is by nature of the phrase that things will work out for some people but will not work out for others.
Or, perhaps the phrase is a call to the resilience of human nature itself, of our potential to justify any happening in our lives to the natural tendencies of the universe. After all, it is by nature that when things work out a certain way that they will not work out in another way. And, it seems that human nature dictates that experiences we accumulate for ourselves have a higher value than those experiences that we did not accumulate, or, in other words, experiences of which we did not take possession.
But such is the taint of experience on our mind. Is our ability to justify experiences one that allows us to see the world with more clarity, if that is a value in of itself that should be valued? I find it hard to convince myself that the tendencies of my future self to rationalize experiences to justify some sort of weakness in character is a sight that is more clear than the one, albeit, flawed understanding that I have for myself at the moment. I find it hard to convince myself that things will work out because there is not reason for it to work out.
Because I understand this tendency of myself, I often feel as if my cognizance is a hindrance to my happiness. The logic goes: if I realize the existence of my psychological defense mechanisms, then it would be harder for my defense mechanisms to, well, defend. And because I do not pursue the happiness afforded by my defense mechanisms, I never wish to allow them to consecrate. The vision that is afforded through seeing through my defense mechanisms is far too valuable for me to just abandon for some fleeting emotion such as happiness. Why would I choose the illusion when I have access to the reality?
Yet, what can I do except to default to Providence? I can care about my professional success, but what is the point of caring about anything if I know that I cannot do anything about it. Sure, there are active steps that I can take in order to boost my success in recruitment this summer and in the next semester, but what is it to me when I have already defaulted to the pre-determination of these choices?
My limitations have already been realized. My motivation has already been determined. All of those choices that I will make between now and my ultimate professional success next year is something that is completely out of my own control, so what else can I do but to see my suffering through the illusion?
It is quite a futile existence. But, such is it. I default to Providence.