We as a society seem to preach a certain order to things, a flow that all lives are supposed to follow.

Get born. Spend the first six or seven years wanting to be a fairy or a race car driver or a a princess when you grow up. Decide that isn’t practical and move onto something that is. Dedicate your high school years to fine tuning that plan. Graduate, and go to college or university with your plan in mind. Achieve your practical plan, and get a job in that field. Work at that job until you’re dead.

And I think that most of us, once we actually set out on this path, began to realize that it just isn’t realistic. Or, at least, we do if the fact that 80 percent of students in the United States change their major at least once indicates anything. And then there are the kids who graduate from high school without a plan, the ones who were too busy or too young or too indecisive or too surrounded by outside influence to really know what they want to do.

I think most of us realize that it just isn’t realistic to expect kids to decide what to do with the entire rest of their lives, all in the most formative eighteen years of their lives. And yet, we continue to preach this order to kids. And, to a certain extent, we continue to expect this order of ourselves.

We feel let down by ourselves if we haven’t fully decided what we want to do by the age of eighteen. I know that when I realized, at the age of twenty-two, that I didn’t actually have a plan for a job that would pay enough to keep me alive, I felt like I was behind everyone else, that everyone else had already figured this out and here I was, still developing.

We feel as though we cannot change our minds later on in life, as though once we have decided on our job, then that’s it. This is our career forever.

I mean, statistics indicate that this just isn’t true anymore. The days of working at one business your entire life are apparently over, as some surveys indicate that the average person works at least four jobs by the age of thirty-two. But do these surveys matter to us? Apparently not, because I still hear people express regret at not having chosen a different path, not having sought out a certain job that they showed promise in at once point, but forewent for one reason or another.

We act as though there is a script to our lives, and we have no choice but to follow it. Yet, this has never really made sense to me, because it is far from the truth.

I mean, sure, there are some obstacles that might get in the way of our dreams. Perhaps a physical disability might make being an NFL player difficult, and perhaps going back to school will be difficult if you have only enough money to keep you and your family alive.

But at the same time, there are often ways to do the things you love, in one way or another, whether it be seeking out a sports team made for people with disability or applying for scholarships or whatever the case may be.

And, more than that, I have even heard these lamentations made by people who have absolutely nothing standing in their way besides themselves.

If you want to switch careers, and you have the means to do so, then do it! If you want to start writing a book despite having never done so before, then now is as good a chance to start as ever!

The reason why we do not do these things is not because we can’t; it’s because we accept that we can’t. We say that we want to do something, and everyone around us says, “why? Isn’t that difficult? Are you sure it’s practical?” and so we do not do it. We tell ourselves that it’s impossible, and so it becomes impossible for us.

But if we gave it a try, we might be surprised. I mean, sure, things might not work out for us, but maybe they do. We won’t know for sure until we try.

So long as you are still alive, anything remains possible. We preach a simple script to ourselves and to our peers, but that script does not exist. We are limitless. We are capable. And it is never too late for us to discover our abilities.

Published by Ciara Hall