Plans, or a lack of.

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So yesterday my ‘timehop’ app showed me a status i wrote 4 years ago which read “maybe a bit deep for this time of night, but how are you supposed to know if you’re following the right path in life?” I genuinely remember writing and posting the status. I remember being really nervous about posting it, because i was still super shy back then and it made me feel really vulnerable to ask something like that so publicly, letting people know i was struggling a bit. But i know i needed the advice. If i’d to guess how long ago i’d written it, i’d actually have said it was only 3 years ago – when i was withdrawing from uni. Turns out it was actually a whole year before that, 2 months after starting my business degree at Strathclyde Uni. I don’t remember what exactly made me question my ‘path’ at that time – i guess i already wasn’t keen on uni or on being a business graduate, and i hadn’t managed to make any friends either. Regardless of what made me write it that night, i was confused.

As most people i’d expect to read this should already i know, i took voluntary suspension from my course in 2012 because i just wasn’t enjoying it – it just wasn’t for me. At the time and in the months leading up to that decision, i was devastated. Relatively speaking, i’d sailed through school – never got in trouble, got 8 1’s at standard grade and a decent amount of A’s in my highers, and although there were some wobbles, i always had good friends. So i expected life post-school to go just as smoothly. So when it didn’t, it really hit me. Other than my driving test, i’d really never failed at anything in my life, not really. (and i cried for about 2 days after failing my driving test it was such a horrible, new feeling!) I’m not trying to brag that i never failed anything, but when i finally admitted to myself that what i was doing at Strathy just wasn’t working, i felt like i’d failed. I hadn’t – i’d passed first year so well i had  exemptions from exams – but i felt that by giving up and dropping out, even if it was the right thing to do, that i’d failed. Even now i still often struggle to see it as anything other than a failed attempt, despite knowing it wasn’t like that.

I’ve never been one of those people who knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grow up, as i’ve probably written before. Anyone who knows me even a little bit should know that i am terrible at making decisions. Big or small, i’m just not good at it and i don’t like it either. So i’ve never been able to decide what i want to do, what i want to become. I’m so envious of people who know from the age of 3 that they want to be a doctor, or an artist, or a fireman. In some ways having a set dream is maybe harder, as it’s more obvious if you don’t achieve it, but i’d love to at least have that set dream or goal. After dropping out of Strathclyde i applied to study psychology at various unis, on the basis that i found it interesting in 6th year, and because the only goal i could pin point is that i want to help people. It sounds hopelessly naive, but i love the feeling you get when you give someone advice and make them feel even a little bit better, and i just want to do something that makes a difference to people’s lives. Like i said, when you say it like that it sounds pretty naive and idealistic, but it’s my only clue. And i like studying psychology, at least some of the time. The course itself can be a bit too science-y and statistic-y for my brain to handle, but the other stuff makes up for it. I really do think psychology was the right choice.

But i don’t know what to do next. I’ve got a portfolio to write for uni and a lot of it needs to be based around my ‘hopes and dreams’ career-wise, and i’m getting to the stage where i need to narrow down what i’m going to do after uni, but i’m back to being clueless. I’ve spent countless hours over the past few weeks searching the internet, and my brain, trying to figure out what interests me. what excites me. what i’m even capable of. where to go next. With no luck, i might add. I don’t know how to make a decision like that, particularly when i just don’t have any idea of what i want to do.

I’m pretty sure the Christian response would be to trust in God’s plan for my life, and trust that he’s got everything under control. But again, if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know this is something i find extremely hard to comprehend or accept. So basically, i’m back in that really horrible, confused place where i don’t know what to do. I know i made the right choice to leave Strathclyde and study psychology, but i don’t know how to move on from here. Don’t get me wrong – i’m immensely grateful for everything i have and my wonderfully loving family, fiancé and friends. I don’t need a full blown life plan, I know trying to do that just doesn’t work, but i’d really like some sort of clue as to where i’m going next.

Does this post have a point? I’m not really sure. I was looking for a quote to end with, but didn’t know how to sum it up. But i came across this:

“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens..”

This makes me very anxious, but it’s the best i’ve got for now. Any guidance would be appreciated!

Rx

Red cups and rants

This is a little bit of a rant, but it has a point to it. I think…

There’s been a lot going about this week that seems to have Christians in an uproar. First it was the Mulberry advert, and now it’s the Starbucks cups. Personally I don’t really get it. I mean, there are planes exploding in the sky and thousands of refugees with nowhere to go, but no, lets instead freak out about the fact Starbucks have plain red cups, instead of ‘christmassy’ ones. Seriously?!! 

The Mulberry advert, in case you haven’t seen it, just shows a woman opening her present to find a mulberry handbag, then people start turning up and asking to see the bag. A man with a donkey, men with Christmas-cracker crowns. Basically, they’re making it out to be like a nativity scene – with that handbag standing in for baby Jesus. 

Now the advert itself is clearly ridiculous. Even from a non religious standpoint, it’s clearly ridiculous to worship a handbag. I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be taken seriously, and yet I’ve seen a lot of posts in which Christians are furious about it. And fair enough, I’m not judging. I don’t love that it’s kind of taking the mic out of Christianity and is ridiculing the Christmas story with something trivial like a handbag. But I’m not sure it offends me, not really. Now maybe that’s my flaw and I’ve probably not read enough of the bible to understand quite how blasphemous it might be, but to me it just doesn’t seem that big a deal…it’s just an advert – they’re all pretty ridiculous. 

You never know, it could make people – even just a few –  realise how commercialised the season has become. And if anything, by imitating a nativity-like scene they’re reminding people, even subconsciously, that there was a nativity scene there in the first place – reminding them of the real reason for Christmas. If anything I’d almost see that as a good thing. 

I can understand why the mulberry thing is upsetting some Christians, and really don’t judge. But the Starbucks saga? Nope. It’s insane. It’s really so ridiculous that people are wasting time getting worked up over something so pointless…

Starbucks have opted for a plain red cup this year for the festive season with no design on it, and people have been going crazy over it. People are claiming that Starbucks have removed the ‘Christmas’ from their cups in order to be more politically correct, and to avoid offending people. Which if it were true, these people might almost have a teeny tiny bit of justification for moaning about it. But don’t the designs usually involve snowflakes and mistletoe and snowmen and the likes? I’m pretty sure none of that relates to Jesus or the Christmas story. Therefore, they weren’t very Christmassy in the first place, not properly. And besides….what does it matter?!!!! It’s a cup!! It’s going to end up in the bin. If the biggest worry in your life is the design on a paper cup, you’re either doing realllllllly well (debatable) or are just an idiot. 

Seriously. 

We have no idea how long we’ve got in this life. “Life changes in an instant, turns on a dime” to quote Callie from Grey’s Anatomy. And we all know that. So why do we spend so much time freaking out over things that just don’t matter at all?! I’m not saying we should be constantly freaking out about the huge things instead, but we really should be making the most of every day, and every moment. It’s obviously not that easy, and we can’t survive without doing the mundane. But at the very least, if something is bugging the crap out of you, then do something about it. If it’s outwith your control, then let it go. It’s not always straightforward, but surely we could start by stopping obsessing over silly things? And instead appreciate and make the most of what we do have. Think how much more fun life could be if we really did all do that? 

“The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day”