Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Is It Possible To Live In The Moment?

     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 worrier.

    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?


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