If I have learned one thing from my statistics class so far this semester it is this: nothing in life is certain.
We can try and measure probabilities for elections, whether it will rain, whether we are going to do well on a test, or whether we will get a certain job. But more often than not, we just don’t know what will happen. While probabilities help us deal with this uncertainty by giving us some odds of whether something will happen, there are is always a chance of the opposite taking place.
Last Sunday, I went to a TEDx Harvard talk on the topic of “What If I’m Wrong?,” and I’m not sure I left with an answer. I may even have more questions after it.
One key theme however was that of uncertainty. That with everything we do, there is never 100% certainty. The last ring leader of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey talked about how he dreamed of one day becoming an opera singer, but decided to join the circus to save up some money to one day go to Europe to train to become a professional opera singer. That “detour” ended up becoming the most magical thing for him and completely transformed his life in what he felt was the most beautiful and positive way.
I think about my decision to move to Kenya and how transformational that was for everything that has happened since. There has always been so much uncertainty in every big move (to a new city, new job, with Santiago), but I have always had to trust that things will work out the way that they will. All we really can do is the best we can with the hand of cards we are given. The risk-rewards stakes are often high, and I know for more people too high to even make the jump. I know that these decisions I have made only come from a position of privilege to even be able to make them, to have the family and the money to still land on my feet if I were to “fail”.
So what if I’m wrong?
I’m not convinced this is the “right” question, because “wrong” is always going to be subjective and we only have our own life to compare the one we are currently living. “Wrong” can only be defined and seen through our own eyes, so maybe it’s our perception of the life we are living that is easier to change.