In 2009 I finished school. In 2010 I took a gap year. In 2011 I face some big decisions.
It's quite ironic how, when you are in school, you can't wait to grasp independence, but then once you attain it, you realise what a scary thing it can sometimes be...
"What do you want to do with your life?" is a question I am starting to get slightly tired of hearing, as it seems to be the topic of many conversations lately. It's a very innocent and well-meaning question, but when you yourself have no idea what the answer is, it starts to get a bit annoying.
My plan was to find the answer to that question during my gap year last year, but lo and behold, having had a taste of freedom and the big wide world, my spectrum of options is now broader than ever before...
Having being awarded with straight A's for my matic year, it is presumed by many that I must want to become a doctor, lawyer, scientist, or at the very least, an accountant. Nobody for a second even entertains the thought that perhaps I'm not ready to study just yet; that would just be utter blasphemy and a waste of a perfectly good, youthful brain. However, instead of marching on down to the nearest University and enrolling in a degree programme that I'd possibly never use after graduation, I have decided to wait until I am 100% sure of what I want to study before I do so. I am by no means opposed to the idea of studying, university or a degree of any sort, although I am against 'studying for the sake of studying' because it's the right thing to do and everyone else is doing it.
I am also incredibly fortunate to have parents that have brought me up in an environment of freedom and have always encouraged me to make decisions on the basis of what I am feeling for myself instead of letting external influences and pressures govern the decisions I make. I think that doing what I really want to do is a good strategy, because after all it's not your parents, your friends or your teachers that are going to live your life, it's you, and that is when you realise the importance of making your own choices in this life and being involved in something that you love and are passionate about.
There's a saying I once heard that goes something along the lines of "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life," and wow is there truth in that!
What I have been doing lately is getting myself involved in jobs in certain career paths that I'd possibly like to pursue. So instead of studying first, I've chosen to work first, and 'test the waters' to see whether or not the job is anything like I think it's going to be, and to see if I enjoy it and could see myself doing it for a living.
It's been incredible how much I've learnt about myself since doing so, and jobs that I thought Id love, I've turned out to not enjoy so much. Along with working, I've been researching a lot too, and asking questions and really delving deep into all my options, and have uncovered some interesting things that have caused me to turn in a different direction from where I thought I wanted to go.
A major breakthrough I've had is the realisation that I would like to pursue my creative flair over and above my 'logic' or 'left-brain intelligence' .. Many people who know me would say I am a scholar and a learner, and while that is so true about me, it is my creative side that I am most passionate about and that is what inspires me, what makes me come alive. Interesting though, because if you had spoken to me a year ago, I would have told you otherwise.
So 2011 is looking like it's going to be a year with many twists and turns, and I know that God has my life in the palm of his hand and as I continue to pray and seek him in all things, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he will "guide me along the right paths for his name’s sake" (Psalm 23:3)