Life is like a book. Each stage in our lives is a chapter full of adventure, heartache, struggle and laughter. I recently waved goodbye to college and, as that chapter of my life ended, I’m now looking at a blank page. I don’t know what the opening paragraph of this chapter looks like because, for the first time in my story, I’m lost. But that’s okay.
As my time in college came to an end I started to worry about my next step. Should I travel? Will I start looking for an internship? Maybe I should start working full time? I started to worry that I’d make a mistake and do the wrong thing, so I froze. I panicked and let the pressure of society overwhelm me. I was too focused on what my friends were doing and didn’t sit back and think about what I actually wanted to do. I felt like I had to follow the crowd, but I’ve realised that being the odd one out is far better, thanks to my past self.
The other day I stumbled across my Confirmation book. There was a section where we had to write about our hopes for the future. This is what my twelve year old self wrote:
“Like some people I long for a flashy car to drive down the road in or a house so big you could get lost looking for the toilet. I do want a decent car and a nice house to live in, but there are other things that stand before them. In the future I want to have good health. I want my dream to be an author to come true. I love writing a lot. I want to go to college. I want to stay in touch with my family and friends. Mostly I just want to live a happy, healthy, enjoyable and fun life.”
The words of twelve-year-old Kat made me realise that, even though I’m feeling a bit lost, I have everything I hoped for. I’m happy and healthy, I have a loving family and a group of supportive and wacky friends that I adore. And I’m currently enjoying life, even if I don’t have a plan.
It’s okay to feel lost for a while. I don’t have any idea about my next move and that’s fine. I don’t know where I’ll be in two months time, or in two years time, but isn’t that what life’s all about, the journey? I’m not going to worry about missing out on summer adventures across Europe or regret not applying for an internship, because sometimes we just have to sit back, breathe and live.
For now, I’m going to focus on the little things that make my life bright, like buying fresh flowers for my Mam and searching for books in the local charity shop, nattering away to my Nanny as my Grandad watches television, munching on warm, salty popcorn as the lights go down in the cinema, and singing along to the radio with my best friend as we drive around in the sunshine. I’m going to focus on what twelve-year-old me hoped for and live a happy life.
The next chapter of my life is simply about being happy, and living.