You know people take gap years to ‘find themselves’ as an excuse to travel a fraction of the world, getting drunk and high and just meeting people… well like those who are brave enough (and secure enough) I’ve learnt a lot about myself in the last year whilst I’ve been on a bit of an unofficial ‘gap’ year.
Before you wonder, I only decided to label 2016 as a gap year in the last five minutes, because believe it or not, it’s in the last five minutes that I’ve realised that I CAN call it that.
I haven’t had a job, I’ve had a few interviews and a few cases of being completely ignored – sidenote: what’s suddenly wrong with acknowledging someone (who wants to work for you’s) existence? It’s rude and not how I’m going to run business in my future. – but nothing that has worked out or taken such a strong hold of me that I really went for it.
I’ve been pretty sporadic with my hopes and dreams, switching the big idea I have every few months whilst being a non-finisher with all of them… not a quitter, more of a butterfly between my top priority is, this, however, is a great way of not getting anything crossed off the list.
Through twelve months of stopping, starting, chopping and changing, some things have (believe it or not) stayed pretty constant. With a fully-fledged ‘I-was-blind-but-now-I-see’ moment I realise that it’s the things that have stayed constant, that haven’t folded under pressure or became dusty over time, are the things I’ve learnt about myself.
It’s things like nailing an attractive flat lay, running this blog, re-designing a room and enjoying a peaceful moment fully present
Have I had moments where I’ve felt guilty about not being at a 9-5 that would allow me to fully support myself? Yes.
Have I had days where I’ve felt aimless, listless and lost with what to do with myself? Yes.
Have I had moments of embarrassment when an acquaintance asks me what I’m doing right now and I have to say that I’m kind of doing nothing? Yes!
But even with financial stress, occasional boredom and a whole lot of frustration at myself and the world (and those who live by their CVs) I don’t feel one bit guilty about the year ‘out’ that I’ve had.
By giving myself what I really needed – time – I’ve learnt more about myself in 2016 than I have in the last five years. What I like doing, what I don’t like doing, my political opinions, my personal values and what’s really important to me.
So, after a year of being more or less off the metaphorical grid, I feel more prepared than ever for a year of success, progress and personal milestones. Speaking of planning for progress, why don’t you head on over to my previous post Seven for 2017 to have a look-see at what I’m excited for this new year.
This post has very much been about me so far, but I guess we all need a little self-indulgence from time to time.
If you’re to take something from the sharing of my 2016, take this:
Do what you want to do, and if you want and need time more than anything else… take it. I for one would much rather have my ‘mid-life crisis’ at 20, ‘waste’ a year and enjoy my life whilst I can, regardless of being a bit poor, a bit in debt or a bit misunderstood by your peers. I’d much rather that than just to add a few more meaningless lines to my CV (I’m really anti-CV, can you tell?) and climb up someone else’s ladder of success.
I heard something brilliant recently, “Life’s not a dress rehearsal”, and I think this might just be my motto for the next twelve mysterious months… although let’s be honest I’ll find a new motto to live by each week.
What words are you going to *try* to live by over the next year (or even longer)?
I’d love to hear what you’ve learnt about yourself, the world or anything else in the last twelve months – enlighten me (and yourselves… ooooh profound).
Here’s to taking life a little slower,