As Salvador Dali says...
So little of what could happen does happen.
There are endless possibilities when we venture into the unknown. And by the unknown, I mean our whole lives. Everything is up in the air. Nothing is certain.
So how do we deal with the anxiety inherent in the uncertainty of our future? Do we expect the best, with optimism and tenacity? Or do we contemplate the worst, to soften the blow we will feel if things don't go our way?
I don't think there is a concrete answer. But it's a choice we all have to make, consciously or subconsciously, every day.
Of course, there is that old adage: hope for the best, expect the worst. The trouble is that it is really, really hard to strike that balance. Especially once we have been hurt; even hoping for the best can be fraught with the fear of disappointment.
I think the key is finding comfort in Dali's words. We are wavering at a particular point in any one moment during our lives; and from that point radiates limitless potential outcomes. The reality is that only one will eventuate. Sometimes we have control over which one that is; sometimes we don't.
I think it is best to be aware of the spectrum of possibilities. To know that there is a tiny possibility that the worst possible outcome will occur; just as there is also a tiny possibility that the best possible outcome will occur. (It is much more likely to be somewhere in the middle.)
All we can do is to strive as hard as we can to ride the wave we think will make us happiest, or more fulfilled, or more successful, whatever strikes our fancy. And if the current takes us somewhere else altogether... then we just have to take a deep breath and find the courage to keep swimming.
The journey will last a lifetime.
"The best way out is always through."
— Robert Frost
I found this image on Sarah Vuckovic's tumblr.