2017 has been quite the tumultuous year, characterised I’d say by shifts: in my daily life, personal life, and ideas about the future. I guess when you take a biopsy of your situation, thoughts and feelings from any one month and compare it to one taken 11 months previous to this, you’ll notice change. Change is how progression takes place; like the leaves alternating green to yellow to orange to brown, it’s necessary for growth to occur.
Shifts in situations and attitudes are a part of every year, but I’d say the shifts I’ve felt in 2017 have been more monumental, like the geological shifting of tectonic plates. Just like the heat from below the earth’s crust that has the ability to tear apart and clash together seismic chunks of the planet, people’s burning passions can have the ability to create huge change in their lives.
Once I came back from travelling at the end of 2016, I felt extremely lost. I was back living at home after having independently explored the world, with no money, no job and no idea of what I wanted to do with my future. I applied to a pile of jobs in retail and food establishments; some rejected me, some offered me trials or a job in places I didn’t really want to work, most ignored me. I felt disheartened and depressed, with no real fire in my belly.
In March, I went on a month-long adventure to India with my mum – this trip forced me to focus on being in the present moment and I had less time to ruminate about the future. It also motivated me to do something, anything, so that I wouldn’t just be sitting, thinking, waiting for someone else to decide my future for me.
I came back from India, perhaps not with actual fire in my belly but definitely a lifetime of spicy food, and started working as a gelato scooper, serving ice-cream to the masses of summer tourists swarming to my seaside hometown. This monotonous work was good for me, and not just for my bank account, crawling back up from zero. It gave me a physical focus, a real reason for my body to be worn out at the end of the day, after serving hundreds of people on a constant loop built on an overload of smiles and sticky gelato.
At first, coming home exhausted each night covered in sweat and viscid food stuff, my passion for a particular direction didn’t materialise – however, a burning desire to not be plastered head to toe in glutinous substances became painfully obvious.
By August, I knew I really did not want to be in such a position for much longer, unsure and completely aimless. I think committing to a job I wasn’t that inspired by helped sharpen my focus onto things I am passionate about: learning, writing, thinking, sharing, travelling, creating, baking…
There are so many things I’m interested in! And so many avenues to explore. Putting myself in an environment where I couldn’t spend hours upon hours overthinking my life choices actually ended up giving my mind more space to think, this was a tectonic shift.
No, I haven’t figured everything out, and no, this isn’t a miracle post in which I tell you ‘one trick that will reveal your future path’. However, I do believe working in that gelato shop gave me some kind of clarity: I decided to start studying Sociology with the Open University, I applied for and got a new, different kind of job (starting next year) and my mind feels fractionally clearer.
At the start of 2017 I thought I didn’t have many passions to pursue, I felt a little hopeless and very much stuck and resistant to change. Now, I’m still unsure of what my long-term future holds but I’ve learnt that the only way to inch closer to that knowledge is through trying things; creating change and playing a conscious part in encouraging my passions to emerge.
Tectonic plates aren’t going to move without a little heat; my future isn’t going to form itself. It takes effort, time and courage to try new things and choose change.
Want to read more Blogmas posts? Scroll to the bottom of Day One for the full list.