So now what…

Once upon a time…

I had a Plan. It was simple, something I really wanted and so pretty much had my heart set on.

Then I did my GCSEs and for some reason got it into my head that I didn’t need to study because I’d ‘got this’.

Needless to say, I hadn’t ‘got this’ at all – far from it. I collected my final grades on results day and was bummed to see just how wrongly ‘got this’ described my situation. I hadn’t done badly really, but I knew that I could’ve done better… Hell, I could’ve aced those exams if I’d studied and I knew it.

However, I just managed to keep my place at the sixth form I really wanted to go to and so I was off, with visions of this Plan clearly pinned in front of me and my regrets over my grades shoved at the back of my mind to be confronted at a later date, preferably when my Plan had materialised and I could laugh over them.

This method of hiding from the sad truth rather than facing it and deciding where to go from there meant that it was only at 2am, when I was lying awake contemplating existence, that I’d allow myself to even begin to consider a Plan B… On some level I think I’d still managed to fool myself into thinking that everything would work out fine and that I’d still ‘got this’ and my Plan would still go, well, as planned.

Of course, this couldn’t possibly be the case so I began to very tremulously think about what else I could do if these grades proved to be the be all and, most likely, end all of my Plan.I let myself begin to dwell on other ideas and, before I knew it, my Plan had effectively gone out the window and been replaced by a horrible feeling of complete self-doubt. Even so, I refused to acknowledge that I was falling and so kept on going, spinning into a plan-less void of anxiety over a future that could still be on track if I hadn’t been so bigheaded back last summer.

However, today I had a meeting with my housemaster at school. It was a little soul-destroying and I came out feeling like I’d been hit by a few trucks and run over by a bus. I’d been told that the grades I’d achieved at GCSE really would influence my future, and not in a positive way in regards to my Plan, the thing that I suddenly felt slipping through my sudden, frantic grip. But, after a bout of teary panic, I decided that I could turn this around.

Yes, I wish my plan could still be a Plan.

Yes, I wish I’d studied and thought everything through properly.

Yes, I wish I’d thought of a Plan B earlier on and avoided all of this.

But I didn’t.

And that’s ok, because instead I got the kick in the teeth I needed to make me go home and consider six questions I should have thought about a long time ago:

  1. What do I really love in life?
  2. So far, what’ve I done that I’m proud of?
  3. If I didn’t care at all what anyone thought, what would I do?
  4. If my life was completely limitless and I could have and do whatever I wanted, what would I have and what would I do?
  5. If I had a billion pounds, what would I do?
  6. Who do I admire most in life and why?

Perhaps they seem silly, but they helped me.

I don’t have a Plan anymore, but I have plans.

I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.

 

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New Year, New Me, Old Resolutions

Forgive me for being sceptical and doubting the whole ‘new year, new me’ thing, but I have a slight problem with it; posted all over Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter and every other social media site in existence are the words ‘Happy New Year’ followed closely by ‘New Year, New Me’. Why?

For a whole year people grumble over the woeful happenings in their everyday lives and for a whole year we vow that next year will be the year that we turn things around, make a difference and be the person we want to be. A whole year. It takes us a year to decide what we’ll do the next year, and the next, and the next and so on and so forth. A whole year gone by thinking of the next one and not focusing on the days that are flying by in this year.

Now, while I actually harbour a love for the concept of starting afresh and making improvements, I find it strange to think that it’s just that: a concept. Because who really starts up jogging on January 1st? Who does put a note in a jar everyday reminding themselves of something happy? I know I don’t, and I know that the people I know don’t.

It’s not a bad thing, really, just a thing. It just happens; we promise ourselves and each other that, with the new year, we’ll do all of these amazing things and that by the end of the year we’ll have little to no reservations, but along the way we forget and life goes on and suddenly we’re back to December 31st saying the same things we said 365 days before. The end and beginning of years are always the same, and yet they’re still a beautiful stage in our lives because, for one night, the whole world has the same spark of hope. It really is wonderful, because the whole of Earth is united, once a year, in a universal mentality to change things for the better.

I really do love it.

But then January comes around, along with the hangovers and then stress of school and work and life and that little spark dims and dims until, by halfway through February, we’re all back to how we were. It’s sad.

So this year, instead of making empty promises that you’ll jog a mile everyday and stop eating that leftover chocolate from that thing a few days ago, how about we vow to just make it different from last year? Different in a good way, of course, and sure, cut out the really bad stuff, but just make it different. Make memories and moments you’ll remember for the rest of your life so that, in a decade when we’ve done this cycle a full ten times more, we can look back and go, ‘You know what? I’ve come so far.’

Because, really, we can’t slow down time. We can’t stop it. But we can remember it. We can look backwards and forwards and be happy that each year was different, for both good and bad reasons. And hopefully, when we do remember them all, we will remember them for being amazing because of their differences.

So Happy New Year! May 2016 be as different as possible from 2015.