What next? The two most discouraging yet thrilling words I seem to constantly ask myself. What next? The phrase which holds within itself both every answer and no answer at all. What next? I ask myself after I’ve finished another semester of uni and a wave of disorderly confusion floods my mind. You’ll be graduating soon, you better start planning your next step. What is the point of all of this and what career is it exactly that you are pursuing again? And of course then comes the self-doubt, criticising and excessive worry and frustration. HOW DO WE STOP THIS YOU ASK ME? I have no idea. Really, I don’t. Each time I think i’ve answered this question to the best of my ability, it comes back to haunt me at 1:45am when I’m trying to get to sleep before an early morning start the next day. As soon as I’ve talked myself into a clear and assertive state of being, content with where I’m going and the journey that lay ahead, it seems the question always returns, to remind me that its always here.
Since childhood I have always had perfectionist tendencies and felt the need to have a plan for everything and only want the absolute best in all aspects of my life. When mum told me to go and study physiotherapy because it was practical and I could quite effortlessly find a job after the 4 year degree, I knew deep down in my core that this was not what I was here to do. It didn’t feel right to me. I gave it a shot and it did not feel right. How could I settle for a career path just because it was clear, straightforward and there would most likely be a job at the end of it? Because it would pay the bills and I would have a respected title to my name? An ‘identity’ of sorts. A simple answer when my aunty asked me what exactly I was going to do after this degree. These reasons were not sufficient, not even remotely, to bring me peace of mind.
Do I know what the fuck I am doing right now? Absolutely bloody not. But my choices and the opportunities I have are out of this world. And that thrills me. I am studying something that challenges me and makes me want to be a better person every day. To be more hardworking, creative, passionate, caring and loving towards myself and everything this world has to offer. I am stuck on what to answer when people ask me what I plan to do next. I don’t hate the question, I just get stuck. Most days. Somedays I wake with a powerful confidence within me and know that I am capable of anything and everything. Other days I feel like I may be wasting my days away and should be doing something that will earn me a comfortable income and title that is taken seriously.
But i’m only young, I have to remind myself. And i’m learning, growing, blossoming and becoming something glorious each waking day. I am making mistakes and I am learning from them. I am beating myself up and then taking an hour long bubble bath and indulging in an extremely large portion of cheesecake to make up for the self-hate. I am meeting new people who question me, challenge me, anger me, inspire me and empower me. And I am yet to meet many more. I may meet someone one day who helps me answer this question so perfectly that it doesn’t come back to haunt me ever again. Or better yet, I may find within me the answer after much soul searching and hard work. Or maybe not. Perhaps I will spend another 40 odd years questioning where it is that i’m going, who it is that i’m becoming. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world now that I think about it. It could be worse. I could be waking up each day to a dreaded alarm clock and a job that brings me no purpose, no value and no joy. I believe in the path that the universe has carefully crafted for me to walk upon. But I also believe in my ability to continue shaping and moulding it into what excites my soul and makes my heart sing. Because this life is too damn precious for anything less.
So if you are constantly questioning your current place, your next move and beating yourself up, know that this is how we turn our lives into complete and utter magic. We should never settle and never take the path just because it is simpler and easier to walk. Because nothing in life worth having comes easy. I believe that with my entire being. Today I have zero idea about where I am going with this degree or with my life. Tomorrow, it may be clearer. And the day after that. But if you ever find yourself lost within this big scary world. Return to the purest place in your heart where hope lives. I promise, for the time being, you will find your way again.
I cannot wait to become
All the things I long to be.
The freedom, the joy, the peace.
I cannot wait.
It’s waiting for me.
And I can taste it on the tip of my tongue.
Patience, dear soul. And belief.
Don’t forget the strength too.
Keep these things forever rooted within,
And you will be blessed with all you have ever dreamed your life to be.