'I am a blank page waiting for life to start' - Sia
I've been trying to ignore a particular niggling thought and I think I've been doing a pretty good job so far - if ignoring things were a profession I'd be all over that. However I'm seemingly losing the ability I've grown so fond of... totally against my will I might add, I'd quite happily ignore it forever. But now it's becoming sort of all-consuming and that can't be healthy.
So the thing is I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing in almost every part of my life. Nope. Not a clue. I've mostly been pretending that I've got my shit together to the point of actually almost convincing myself. The problem is it's now getting to the point where I should actually have my shit together and I'm nowhere close. My degree is coming to an end and an MA is a little out of my budget right now, so I need to figure things out. But I don't even know if figuring things out is a thing that can be figured out.
Will there come a time when I know exactly what I want and that I'm making the right decisions? Does making the 'right' decision even matter, or is it the decision making process itself that offers the vital life lessons we learn from? Does it happen at a particular age? When I'm 30, or 40, or 50 will I know what I'm doing? How will I even know when things are figured out? Does it end when/if I find a career that I don't loathe? Or will there always be something that's uncertain? In reality I know that I already know the answers to these questions, that it's just not that simple. But knowing some questions don't have definitive answers is pretty scary because it means I need to find my own answers somewhere.
I'm pretty set on some things I don't want to do, but some of the things I would like to do seem wildly impossible without either taking a huge leap into the unknown, winning the lottery, or finding someone who's willing to give it a try with me. Here's a glimpse into some of the things that are currently floating around inside my head:
- Ultimate dream: opening an independent bookstore that hosts poetry slams in the evenings and creative writing/art/homework clubs for children in the afternoons. It would also have a little cafe/bar attached with cake, a million varieties of tea and something a little stronger for night time events. Oh and maybe a gallery space too. Being realistic I know this is a dream potentially only possible in another universe. Certainly not the sleepy village I live in anyway.
- Renovating an old caravan, turning it into a pop up shop and rolling up to various fairs throughout the year.
- Establishing a publishing house that shares beautiful editions of wonderfully obscure work.
- Professional bunny-sitter - I will cuddle your bunnies when you're on holiday, at work, or away on business.
- Carve out some kind of writing career. No idea what, or how, or if I'd even ever be good enough but you know, it's good to dream.
I don't know, I suppose I'm just a little...overwhelmed? I mean, in theory I could do anything I can think of - obviously minus the things I'll never be qualified to do (be an astronaut) and the things that I'm just not good at (singing!). I've held the belief that everyone is destined to do something great in their lives for as long as I can remember. I don't think it's the scale of greatness that matters, it's the act of greatness itself that does. So it could be anything from raising babies to be wonderful adults, to writing a novel whose story stays with someone throughout their entire life, to standing up for something so passionately that goes on to make a positive difference to society.
The niggling thoughts aren't so much about wanting to achieve something huge, or because I'm in my mid-twenties so I should have done this or that by now. Neither is it because someone else holds a certain expectation of what they think I should do, or because other people are out achieving amazing things right now whilst I'm sat here in a penguin onesie eating a plate of custard creams! I've never been hugely ambitious and honestly I don't really mind what anyone thinks of what I'm doing or how I choose to move forwards. It's more the 'I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing' thing. Equally though I think it's completely okay to feel this way because in a world where almost anything is possible, how does one even begin to decide what to focus on? Some options seem infinitely easier than others, but very often the things that take more effort, love, and perseverance are the ones that are more than worth the time.
So much has changed over the last twelve months; floral dresses have disappeared from my wardrobe, bold lipsticks have drifted towards the back of the drawers, I'm generally more secure in my own mind, and I have completely fallen head over heels in love with books again - it's not just a crush, it's a forever kind of commitment - I've taken the unbreakable vow if you will. Maybe I'll need this next year to find my way on to the path that I'm supposed to find. The one that will show me what I should do with my time now, and that will lead me on to the things I'm supposed to do in the future.
I guess the running theme here is that I have absolutely no idea.
And maybe that's the point. No one said this was easy, right?