As young as I may be (21 to be precise) and as happy as I perhaps should be, I cannot escape the fact that my life feels stagnant at this particular point. Outwardly, everything might seem fine and maybe I should be appreciating all the good things I do have; but life doesn’t work like that, does it? My usual approach to feeling like this is simply to ignore it, wait until it passes and distract myself from thinking about it. That’s the adult, mature thing to do, right? My father, a well of advice and motivational mantras, has passed down to me the advice that to get anywhere in life you constantly change your mind. My frequent tendency to ‘jump ship’ as a child from whichever situation didn’t serve me any purpose (or so I thought) was met with frustration and stern talks which ultimately led to me becoming an adult terrified of change. Rigidity has become the foundation of my 20’s and although I still feel a need for constant change, the fear that has been cemented in my mind fights this need almost daily. These two feelings which are completely at odds with each other war for my attention, but how on earth do I know which is right?
2016 has been one heck of a year, I’ll tell you that much:
In February I moved out of my parents home for the second time, into a house which I shared with five girls, only one I already knew. I left my hometown in favour of a city, in order to be closer to university. I passed my first year of law school, three B’s and 2 A’s. I decided I couldn’t handle it, and nearly dropped out. I decided to move back to my childhood town for the summer in the hopes that this would make me feel less depressed. I reunited with the man who provided for me the worst heartbreak I had ever felt as a teenager. I became pregnant with his child. I miscarried. I ended up in hospital. I moved back in with the five girls. I became the victim of severe bullying, something which I didn’t expect in my 20’s. I moved back in with my parents. The bullying continued. I took 12 solpadol and went for my second long stay in hospital. I got out of hospital and went straight back to university, pretended everything was fine and carried on as normal. I slowly lost interest in my work, found it more and more difficult to get out of bed, didn’t care about going to classes and generally gave up on myself little by little.
Which bring us to now. Working on the advise of a university councilor, I’m in the process of taking what the call a leave of absence from university, otherwise known as ‘intermitting’. So beginning in January, I have one year before I return to full time education. At first, I hated this idea and protested event the thought of it. How could I lose a year? What would I do? A million questions were battling for room in my brain. I needed to think clearly, so I cleaned. I cleaned and sorted my clothes and books and shoes and reorganised everything. I created a clear space. I put on eat pray love and sat on the floor in my bedroom. I thought about it, rationally. What were the outcomes of both scenarios?
The only thing more unthinkable than leaving, was staying. – Elizabeth Gilbert
I read the quote over and over until it was cemented in my brain.That’s when I knew. I needed change, and no matter how frightened I was, the thought of this feeling remaining, was worse. I didn’t know how to fix myself, all I knew was that staying wasn’t an option anymore. There was no logic in continuing with a method that wasn’t working. My life needed shook up and turned about, and I needed to be the one to do it. How many times would greater powers shake my life before I realised what they were trying to show me? It was up to me.
So now it’s time. December will be a month spent planning, and writing and imagining. From then, I will have 365 days to change my life. Will it work? Your guess is as good as mine. This blog will be dedicated to this journey, every step of it. I hope this can inspire someone else to create a life they love.