I argued with a friend the other day over how much harder life after school was. They were arguing that life as a student was much more difficult. This friend has returned to University after a few years away in the real world with a steady career. I’ve just exited University after a long, arduous degree- but yet a fairly stable relationship with student life. My relationship with the real world has yet to enter the honeymoon phase- right now it’s still in the “wtf am I doing” phase.
I like plans. I like knowing the next step and setting goals around that. I like constant forward motion.
The universe likes to hand me chances to reflect a ruminate on those qualities on a regular basis by turning me around and confusing my definition of “constant forward motion”.
This has been what I’ve felt like for most of the new year. Either unmotivated, depressed, slightly angry, or serenely peaceful and in the moment. It’s kinda like being a teenager again. The last feeling is great when it happens- and as usual it’s a constant goal for me to be in that state more and more. I’m somewhat successful.
Spinning my tires doesn’t do much- so slowing things down and working on patience is always a project. But then there’s weeks like the last few where nothing goes according to plan, and I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything and the stress sets in. When I say nothing goes according to plan, I mean NOTHING goes according to plan. In this scenario I’ve spent a lot of time stewing, and until the last week or so have just been stumped. The sun is starting to peak through as I come to terms with changing the plan (why does it always take so long to come to that point?), and as usual- as soon as I refocus myself the Universe throws me a small bone (and then almost at the same time causes me to be up in the night cleaning up dog vomit after the dog ate too much of a bone…).
A constant stream of redirecting from the Universe, no structure.. just either a yes- choose this door it’s wide open, or nope- this door is slamming shut in your face. Try again later, or just move on. Or even better, peak into this door- it’s open just a crack.. but you can’t open it yet. It’s confidence shaking. Until you recognise it as a “I’m a twenty-something living a first world lifestyle with relatively minimal student debt and am being given a chance to learn and grow.. even if it involves some growing pains” moment.
Who am I kidding. It’s still confidence shaking and annoying. Regardless of how much you learn from it. But, I suppose that is the nature of learning.. isn’t it.
Right after I returned from Florida (which was amazing, btw), I decided one day to go and chat with one of my profs. It’s only been a few months since I’d seen him last, but when you’ve been seeing someone almost every day for 5 years a few months seems like a while. Two hours of ranting (from us both) and counselling from him- I felt a little better. The biggest issue on hand, regarding a major career step that’s been on put unexpectedly on hold, wasn’t solved- but it was given new light for me. While the unexpected turn for me had been mostly depressive, after this chat it entered the more productive anger stage- in which I got some serious letter writing done. The biggest thing I walked away from that chat with was how much I liked being in that environment, and how much I really did want to continue my education in the form of a MSc. as soon as I could. It reminded me that people won’t judge me for what letters I necessarily have behind my name- not at my alma mater anyway. The welcome I got from my former professors as I walked by their offices or they came into the one I was sitting in reminded me that unexpected turns in the road do not have to determine how I perceive myself as a person. Or how I perceive my abilities as a professional. Very important things for me to remember!
The above graph is perfect.
It’s so easy to get into the pattern of humming along as if the plan is always going to be the plan.. until it’s no longer the plan. Unfortunately my tendency is to completely melt down instead of accepting the change in direction like a sane person.
I have great mentors and influencers in my life- and fairly supportive peers, friends and family. I have much to be grateful for. My twenty-something female brain doesn’t always cooperate with those realities, but that’s something I can’t always control to my best ability. As I’m reminded constantly.. I’m only a human twenty something!
On a more positive note- I begin a new job in the next couple weeks as a personal trainer at another gym, after leaving one gym this week. I’m very excited to start this new opportunity, which will hopefully offer more hours/clients then previous places and work in tandem with Katmah Training, so I can continue to grow my own business as well. My own business I’ve began marketing as a more general practice (with specialised services to equestrians still, but more advertising into the general population) with the hopes of broadening my practice to different chronic pain and injury conditions and movement correction services. If the Universe is going to tempt me with doors I can’t open yet, I might as well keep trying other ones!
Every day a new learning experience.