“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.”
Last weekend an old friend from varsity sent me an inbox on Facebook. We had not spoken for a while since I left varsity. Naturally, such interactions will lead to questions like, “Whatsup?” “What are you doing with life?” “What have you been doing lately?” and so forth. As someone who’s relatively open about her life, I was honest to tell my friend that I dropped out from school and I still don’t have anything tangible planned out for myself.
Little did I know that my openness would pose to be a problem. The door of being placed under severe scrutiny had been opened, as a result of what my life path looks like right now. I, therefore, bore the brunt of a long, and probably well-intentioned speech about how I’m not living the life I’m ought to be living because “You are capable of so much more and you shouldn’t just be sitting around at home doing nothing”, as emphasised to me. I fumed, because at a fundamental level, as well intentioned ‘the talk’ may have been, the words made me feel like my life was not good enough, it lacked in substance.
This whole encounter made me come face-to-face with the reality of the continuous pressure that we as young people get- not just from society but also our loved ones, to be and do more. Our value as individuals is often intricately intertwined with how much we are achieving, how productive we are and what goals we have in place for ourselves. Should you live anything short of that, you are seen as wasting away your life and living below your potential.
“I am a young lady who is worn out by trying to attain the things deemed as important, as a way of performing my value and worth as an individual.”
Although it is that time of the year where everyone has all these elaborate plans, resolutions and goals for the year 2017, that is not what my life is like presently. I don’t know where my life is going, but I do not feel like I’m living a less than life. If anything, the space I’m in has allowed to me to learn to live an anxious-free life- a life of having always stressed about the future and the next moment and what I’m ought to be doing with it.
And living in a time where there’s this big boom, and seemingly sudden splurge of young dreamers, movers and shakers, we need to make it okay for people not to have their lives figured out. We need to allow the people around us to grow and find their own feet in this big, big world of adults who seem to be ‘adulting’ quite well. We need to understand that what you see and perceive as success may not be the same standard of “making it” for the next person.
We are enough as we are. We are probably yet to realise our fullest potential, but that does not take away from the fact that YOU ARE NOT in any way INADEQUATE in whatever way you are showing up in this world at this current moment. We won’t always have all the answers. Or know what’s the next step of our lives while still picking up the broken aspects of it. We might have lost direction of the path that our lives are taking and probably do not know how to get back on route. But, that’s okay. That is perfectly alright. We should not take the pressure from outside “to be something” and internalise it and make it our burden. Some things are honestly not ours to carry in life.
I too was once a crazy goal-chaser, but in chasing after my goals, I lost myself. Now I’m living one day at a time, with no particular destination that I’m rushing to. And for the first time in my life, I appreciate the person that I show up as in life without mindlessly running after the shadows of the next “better versions of myself” and consequently losing appreciation of my life because I’m chasing after a better and presumably more accomplished one. I am a young lady who is worn out by trying to attain the things deemed as important, as a way of performing my value and worth as an individual.
I have now set my sight on living a life that is meaningful to me, from the inside out, although I am still figuring out how that looks. And perhaps that is where the beauty, adventure and mystery of life lies- not knowing what the next moment will present to you or where the next step will take you.