Youth, especially in this generation, have difficulty grasping the unknown future ahead. The world is constantly changing, and so the idea of purpose and fulfillment is also changing at this pace. There is room for new beginnings no matter where one may end up, and past experiences will carry on to create wisdom and sophistication. The longing of achieving personal dreams and passions will ultimately root from past hardship and turmoil. The future is like a river, it allows it’s current to carry each individual on a path that they choose. Despite this, they bring their rafts to a halt, afraid that small rocks and twigs will bring them to an inevitable demise by a waterfall. Clouded by worry, their destination and motivation now seem unclear. They avoid any possible risk, but also lose the ability to gain potential. And so, they wander within the trees of a foreign forest, hoping to find raw materials that could build that same sense of familiarity they longed for. Uncertainty fuels the fear of instability, causes youth to foolishly search for comfort and security and allows many to lose sight of new possibilities.
Oftentimes, when individuals are faced with the prospect of an uncertain future, they cannot confront and overcome their fear of instability. In “About My Father’s Plot to Get Home,” the father is longing for a sense of certainty, yet he remains lost as he has sacrificed his dreams and passions for the sake of bringing that certainty to the family. The quote “…innocent folds of its skin…” describe wrinkles in the father’s skin. Wrinkles usually symbolize growth, aging, and wisdom… yet the word choice of ‘innocent’ truly emphasizes his lack of experience in life. Despite his growth physically, he cannot fully utilize his knowledge and wisdom when he lacks the experience gained from past hardship. This furthers his inability to guide both himself and his child to prosperity. As for me, I do anticipate the idea of the unknown as I tend to look forward to new beginnings. To dwell on possibilities of never finding passion, or never fulfilling my purpose in life are just too big of questions that I cannot answer. It is something that must be discovered, something that must be found at one’s own pace. To mindlessly follow others in hopes of finding certainty would be to lose individuality and a sense of control.
Youth tend to naively follow the footsteps of parents to find a sense of security and control. In the same poem, the father reaches for his child’s arm, and together they embark on a mission in hopes of discovering a sense of fulfillment and certainty. The child follows without question, there is no evidence of struggle. A father symbolizes power, strength, wisdom, and is a dependable figure to look up to — the child follows him because he expects these attributes from him. What the child fails to see, is the flaws underneath: “And blank cracks appear like bad dreams in the flawless skin of a father’s world.” In the past, my parents have subtly pushed me to dive into typical careers such as engineering, nursing, and dentistry. They believe that money is most important, and passions do not necessarily matter as long as a family can be supported. I have never understood how money could take the precedence of personal dreams, but this may be because of my lack of experience in life. Despite this, I want to pursue a dream that will allow me to have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with my life.
If the unknown were to be embraced, it would serve as a compass that would guide many to new opportunities, new experiences, and new beginnings. In the same poem, the father continuously searches for a sense of fulfillment, yet he will never find it if he continues to isolate himself from his abandoned dreams. Certainty is impossible without experiencing unfamiliar conflict and hardship. The father has indeed left those dreams for the sake of his family, but if his child follows the same path as him for generations to come, will that truly achieve certainty? I embrace change and new beginnings because of my personal experiences. I have been living in Korea for two months every year, and each time I learn something new about myself. The unforgettable memories and friends that I have made will always be a significant part of my life. Life can be compared to a movie. With spoilers, can it truly be of any excitement? If the story of life was known to its owner, then where would the joy and sense of adventure come from?
As much as we try to grasp the far future or even try to ignore it, it will remain as an inevitable aspect of our lives. It will determine a significant part of our lives, and to ignore it would be to ignore our purpose in life. Whether we choose to embrace the aspect of uncertainty, or reject it and stick to what is familiar and secure; it is with our choices that we are able to discover all that form our foundation towards a way to improve our unique lives and endure through the complex environment we exist in.