Living in the moment seems to be one of these things that
everyone wishes they could do, but in actuality is very difficult. It only
seems to happen in movies, when you come across those care-free characters, who
are wild and crazy and just take every second as it comes. I’ve never yet met
someone like that in real life. No matter how hard we try, I think everyone
thinks about other times, whether it be past or future.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with doing this
sometimes. We can go back to revisit fond memories or dream about our hopes for
the future. But this isn’t always the case. More often than not, I find myself
dwelling in the past, whether it be bad experiences I wish I could change, or
times that seem much better than what is happening in my present life. I often
wish I could go back to early childhood, when the world seemed so much simpler,
and adulthood was a million years away.
Now I supposedly am an adult, and it scares the hell out of
me. I plan and analyse things a lot, and not having a plan for my future is
kind of terrifying. I’ve never dreamt much about my future in career terms –
not once in my life, not even as a young child, have I had an answer to what I
want to do when I grow up. And now ‘grown up’ is pretty much here. Yes, I still
have three more years at university, but if first year was anything to go by, I’ll
be done before I know it. The future stresses me out because of this. I had to
make decisions about what to do next when I left school, but university seemed
to be a natural progression (it’s not for everyone, but it was definitely the
right choice for me). After that, I guess the next step is job. But I can’t
even get a summer job right now, and I have no idea what I want to do as a
career. The other problem is that with the current job market I may just have
to take what I can get, not necessarily what I want.
Sometimes I have little dreams or ideas, but it’s usually
about things that I could never ever achieve. And yes, people will say ‘but you
should always chase your dreams’, but you also have to be realistic. These
fantasies are things I have no skills for or are incredibly hard to get into,
and I know I’m definitely not good enough.
Actually, sometimes my stressing about the future doesn’t
even go that far forward. I’m worried about just finishing my degree right now,
since I hate French and don’t feel like I’ve improved at all this year. They
expect near fluency at the end, and everyone says the year abroad will help,
but I can’t help but wonder what if it doesn’t? What if I just can’t pick the
language up? This is probably silly, as everyone picks it up, but I’m a natural
I have been trying to take some steps forward lately. I
haven’t been able to get a summer job, but I am going to do a course that lets
me teach English as a foreign language, and get a first aid qualification. I
love children, and I tried to work at a summer camp this year, so hopefully
these would help for applications next year. I’m also considering doing a
year’s teacher training at the end of my degree, which is very ironic since
teaching is the one career I spent year saying I didn’t want to do, and it’s
one of the few things I’m considering at the moment!
The only part of the future I do dream about is more my
personal life, as I’m pretty certain I’d like to get married and have children.
The only problem with all this is that I’ve never had a boyfriend. I’ve kissed
and had a good time with a few guys, but never a real relationship. I know I’m
only eighteen and I’ve got plenty of time for this, but it’s the only part of
my future I have some sort of plan for, yet it’s the one thing I currently am
making no progress towards. A degree leading towards an unknown career and no
progress towards my one dream? I’m clearly doing well at life.
But in many ways I am. A degree should stand me in good
stead for a lot of potential jobs when I do decide. I may not have found love
yet, but I have my family and friends. I have my health, I’ve never experienced
any major tragedy and my family isn’t rich, but we get by. And lots of people
don’t know what sort of career they want at eighteen. So although I do dwell on
the past and worry about the future, my lack of plans actually means I just
have to take life as it comes, one day at a time. Perhaps, entirely
unintentionally and without trying to, I am living in the moment, as a result
of my poor decision making skills.
And I guess all of
this is why I called this blog ‘Just Muddling Through Life’. I don’t know what
will happen to me in life, and I’m just trying to get by. I want to enjoy life
and be happy, and I wish I didn’t stress so much and feel the need to plan. I
suppose it’s a part of my personality that I can’t really change, but sometimes
it’s good to remind myself that I can’t control everything, and it’s ok to not
always have a plan. I have to reassure myself that it’s ok to just muddle
through life, since that’s what I’m doing anyway.
Actually what I’ve just realised is that in some ways I am
someone living in the moment, because I don’t plan far ahead. But because of my
personality, I can’t fully enjoy it, as I’m always worrying about this lack of
plans. Oh, irony, how cruel are you?