New phases and staying present
This week (where I live) is where those who are starting uni, are attending an orientation week. They are off doing their own thing and I can feel that new chapters are really beginning. This excites me, but it also is somewhat of a wake up call - emphasising that 'okay, your chosen "gap year" is really on....NOW'. I see a lot of new opportunities on the horizon, as well as new and positive habits beginning to form. It's a time of change, and a new normal to start forming. It has never been clearer than now, that the familiar stream of school that felt like it would last a lifetime is finished, and the start of a new phase is taking place.
When I was in high school, I loosely heard about this notion of a '5 year plan', where people would talk about where they wanted to be in said amount of time. The cliche was evident, with marriage and certain jobs on the agenda, rather then any sort of 'self development' style goal to aim for. In my confused and puzzled position on the whole post-school life thing back then, I could see why people felt it so necessary to proclaim these things. Looking back, it was probably a reaction to not having a structure set out for them. So through this vocal announcement, perhaps they were seeking approval, who knows? But I think this points out how, as a society we are so afraid of the unknown. So afraid to live in the present, having to instead have every facet of our life planned out. From timetables, to appointments to set meal times etc. etc.
I am trying to go against that in a sense this year. It is ridiculously frightening, because it goes against what I have always known - however it's what I need. Because if I did just go to uni straight away, I know that it would then be harder and harder as I go, to break free.
But with resistance and difference, comes opposition and misunderstanding.
There is a part of everyone of us that wants to let everything go and just 'be' on our own schedules, so when you tell individuals this is what you are doing, who are in their own rigorous routine themselves, they can question and interrogate you until you start to just feed them answers they want. I believe this happens because it's an element of jealously, or a reflections of their own insecurities and regrets. It sounds harsh, but our past always arises in our present if we haven't dealt with it.
I told myself in January that I would vow to 'live in the present' as I navigated this tricky, new chapter. And to be honest, I was really just trying to 'fake it, till I made it'. But while I was never entirely sure if it would work out, now I can say I am living in the present. I am taking it day by day. Sure I am planning a few things and sticking to a loosely structured routine to ensure I get things done, but I am in such a better mind space then I was a month ago. More comfortable and more free.