Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Mystery of Growth

By Cathy Yan, Assistant Editor, AK Adventures and Global Village Editor


When I was younger, I wanted to be an astronaut. The thought of exploring space and being the first to see, to touch, to marvel at something so beautiful, vast, and mysterious appealed to me like no other dream. I plastered glow in the dark stars across my ceiling, scribbled wild looking planets in my math notebook, and went on NASA’s website every day, poring over the nebulous and fragmented pictures of unknown galaxies and wondering when it would be my turn to head into the sky.

A few years later, there was nothing I wanted to do more than to be a writer. It was my dream, my life’s ambition, to follow in the footsteps of literary greats like Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling, typing on a slightly outdated computer in a shadowy cabin in the woods with a steaming hot cup of tea beside me. I wrote pages and pages of nonsensical gibberish, filling up hundreds of notebooks with childish thoughts and limp characters, fighting my way towards what I imagined to be a grand revealing of a thick, glistening book with my name on it.

Now, I am clueless, wandering aimlessly day to day, saddling myself with myriads of projects from starting a non-profit organization to running my school’s newspaper. One day, I would wake up and want to be a businesswoman, cold and calculating, shattering glass ceilings with a fervor respected by my superiors. Other days, I would wish to be a doctor despite my aversion towards blood and watch three hours of medical shows, trying my best to diagnose the patient before the character onscreen could, but never succeeding.

Sometimes, I would wish for the simplicity that occupied my past, the surety of what I want to become, the passion and confidence I had in my future career. However, most of the times, I appreciate the ambiguity, the mystery, the feeling of being in a dark tunnel with only the walls to guide me. It keeps my heart beating, my senses alert, and reminds me of my youth and the years I have ahead to fulfill all of my dreams and promises.

The future is a mysterious entity, an open door with everything and nothing behind it. It is natural to doubt, to feel afraid, and to wonder how all of my childish dreams and impossible hopes had led to this moment. However, deep down, I know in the fascinating dark depths of my constantly maturing subconscious that I will be okay, and the future is not a destination, but a culmination of all I have learned through my growth from a fanciful child to the person I am today.