I have no idea where I picked up this phrase, but I feel the need to explain why it’s been playing on my mind.
I handed in my last piece of uni work the other day. Not my last piece this year, my LAST ACTUAL PIECE. It is early and none of my friends have finished yet, but there was no ‘lets go to the SU and get hammered!’ or ‘lets go on an amazing last holiday together!’ (Well, there would have been… long story.) It was all a bit anti-climactic and I suddenly have a wealth of spare time on my hands.
‘Get a job?’ You might say. Or ‘Go on a gap yah.’ Easier said than done my friends. See, I did have a plan. I was going to go do my PGCE and become a teacher and earn money and everything would be wonderful. Easy, right? Wrong. I only decided to do this around four months ago, so my application was late and lacking experience and I didn’t make it on to this year’s intake. As for a ‘gap yah.’ I couldn’t even afford to live in student accommodation for more than a year and don’t have a money tree planted with a plaque that reads ‘bank of Dad.’ Plus, I’d probably be killed if I went alone. I get scared waiting for the bus in Hartlepool town centre after 9pm in case I’m mugged. Iphone, kindle and a leather jacket all make me slightly muggable. And yes, I know I said I have no money, but phone is on contract and other two were gifts.
I can’t help but look through facebook and twitter and notice that people I know are actually doing things with their lives. To name a few, one has a great internship in London, another is working in Mumbai and several other people are going to America soon. I could let this go and think ‘I only vaguely know these people, it doesn’t count,’ but my friends are all moving forward too with career plans and post-grad courses and other things unavailable to me on my unintended year out. As a result, I handed in my substandard ‘my dissertation went in weeks ago this doesn’t count’ work and was overwhelmed with a sense of disappointment and abandonment. What if uni was as good as it got for me? What if I’m left alone and bored? What if I never achieve anything I wanted to because I have no money? What if I end up in a crap job forever and ever? Or end up on the dole with no choice but to grow drugs in the loft and have children for the extra benefits? (I watch too much Jeremy Kyle.) What if I get depressed with my lack of direction and find a new direction that leads me to walk into the sea?
I realised suddenly that the people who I actually know and are moving forward, have all done so by taking risks, or making the best of bad situations. Having lived firmly in my comfort zone of ‘nah best not’ and ‘I can’t because of x,y and z’ for the past two years, I decided it’s about time to reunite myself with the ‘life is for living’ eighteen year old I once was. I won’t go into why I’ve gradually grown out of taking risks, I’d be here all day and this is not a therapy blog, but I decided that the key is to push myself back out of my comfort zone and view my current situation as temporary.
I started thinking of things I needed to do in the next few months and the only essentials were to get a job- any job, get a school placement and pass my driving test. Then I thought of things I could do in my spare time and they were endless. All things I’ve wanted to do and haven’t for one reason or another, be it uni, fear of failure or being scared that it just wasn’t practical or I’d look stupid. In short, things that scare me.
So, step one.
I’m finally writing that blog I always meant to, about things I always mean to do, or never thought of doing. I may not do something monumental every day, to be honest, I’ll be amazed if I write every day, but I’ll celebrate the little things. Life is what you make it after all. 800 words and I have completed today’s challenge.
Today, do something that scares you.