About halfway through February, I came to the mini heart-attack inducing realisation that I had only planned my life up until 2014. Since then, I appear to have been coasting along, which for an avid list-maker who likes to have everything planned days if not weeks in advance, can be rather disconcerting.
Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed my “time off” immensely. Knowing that if I spend a whole day doing nothing, or whatever I choose, it won’t have a huge impact on my life, can be a comforting feeling. As can learning to be a bit more spontaneous, throwing the bare essentials into a bag and jumping on a train at five minutes’ notice… it can, of course, be fun to live with fewer responsibilities. In fact, having to learn to “adult” has gone hand in hand with cutting down on my other concerns. It means that, in between frustrated phone calls with Student Finance, five different attempts to register to vote in two different countries, and numerous hours of job-hunting, I have been able to relax, which is something I’ve often been known to neglect.
I can’t deny, however, that I have missed being the “yes”, the “I can do that” person. And while I don’t regret or feel guilty about my comparatively un-busy year, there remains a niggling feeling that perhaps I could have been more involved in that society, or put more effort into this area (yes, my blog and its readers come into that category).
While things felt a little dire a couple of years ago when I would set my alarm clock before I went to bed to go off about six hours later, I miss being the person who was working on two drama productions, doing all my schoolwork to the best of my ability, running a successful blog, trying to write a “book” and starting my own mini-business with a friend. I did on many occasions feel run off my feet, find it hard to switch off my mind… but I felt so productive.
When I got into revision for my one exam—life’s beautiful—in May, I am ashamed to say that I rather enjoyed myself. I’ve always been a bit of a nerd when it comes to school, and as I sat at my desk contentedly highlighting, drawing arrows and scribbling key words on my freshly-printed sheets of notes, I felt oddly at peace with the world. In my revision, unlike in most other areas of my life, I was completely in control. It’s hard to admit for someone who tries to exude a cool, calm exterior and puts forward the idea that they are a relaxed, rational human being, but there is definitely some sort of gremlin in my brain that thrives from being in control.
I make lists, I timetable myself, I prioritise, I have a compulsive need to get things done. And it’s awful. And it feels amazing.
I have therefore set myself a seemingly impossible mountain of tasks for next year outside my degree which, while open to failures and missed targets, should just about keep me satisfied.
I’m co-editor of a section of my student newspaper. I’m starting my own society within the university. I’m going to try and produce my own show for the university’s TV society. I’m taking an online TEFL course so I can teach English abroad next summer. I’m trying to get through as many books as possible to review for this very blog. I’m also going to write a big block of posts I can share with you all over the coming months, because I never want to neglect this website again. For the summer, I’m going to try and improve my health and fitness after a crazy year as a lazy fresher, and practise making some more vlogs which I hope to share if they go any way other than terribly. There’s also a chance that I will go from having no proper job to one if not two.
I’m going to be grabbing life with both hands like I used to. And to be honest, I’m a bit scared about it.
First things first, however, I need to ice the cake I’ve just made. Such a thrill seeker, I am…