An essay to do, tutorials to plan, exams to make notes for, a reflective journal to write, a moot to prepare for, cases and cases and cases to read. If I’m not careful, it’s going to send me down an endless spiral where the only words that’ll come out of my mouth are ‘estoppel’ and ‘restitution remedies’. This doesn’t go just for law students. One of my best friends is studying medicine and (bless her) most of the words that come out of her mouth these days are ‘exam stress’ and ‘vulnus punctum aperta’.
My friends and I went to an event at a big law firm a couple of weeks ago and the most important question out of my mouth as we mingled with everyone was ‘how do you maintain a reasonable work/life balance?’. Now, I’m the kind of person who plans everything, I like being in control and this point in my life is leaving me a bit lost because I haven’t figured out a plan yet. I want to do something great with my life, I want to be able to make a difference with whatever career path I end up choosing but I also know that I want to be a home body, I don’t want to wait till later in life to get married (fingers crossed the stars hear me on this one), I want to have kids and be able to be with my kids. Yes, I’m well aware that I’m very young to be talking about marriage and kids but it’s just something that’s always in the back of my head. I also know that no one expects me to have a plan yet and that it’s okay not to know at this point, but I can’t help all the questions that run through my head. Turning 20 has me having an unintentional near quarter life crisis! My teens are over, what the heck am I doing? What’s the plan? What do I want from my life? It’s like I’m very well aware that it’s perfectly normal to just go with the flow now and work hard because things will unfold at their own pace, but there’s a constant little tick in my brain that goes ‘you need to figure this stuff out now!’
Then I realised, why on earth am I thinking about work/life balance 5 years down the line, when I haven’t even figured out a work/life balance in the present. I realised that I’ve been spending way too much time in my room and I’m missing the sunsets and the strolls down the crowded London streets and that’s not what I wanted this experience to be. I’m not really interested in going out and getting drunk because that’s not really me anymore. I’ve always told myself that the most fun I have in situations like that are if I’m in a place I’m comfortable with. I love planning parties with my friends at home or going out to places where I’m comfortable and I have no interest in being in a crowded place with sweaty strangers. Not to say I don’t like going out because I do, I love dancing and experiencing new places with my friends just not necessarily at a crowded club. I’d much rather blast some music at home, have some drinks and dance the night away with my friends. Or go out and do more sociable activities. I’ve decided that I need to figure out a work/life balance in the now and stop worrying about it in the future. I want to go for picnics in the parks and karaoke nights and to the cinema and just get myself out of my room otherwise I’m letting things move on without me and I don’t want to regret having missed anything. So I’m going to get out of my room more now, meet new people, try new things and go to new places.
I’m not saying that little tick in my brain will ever go away, because chances are it won’t. But I suppose what I’m taking from writing all this down and thinking about it as I do, is that I’m making a conscious decision to be more aware of the fact that it’s okay not to have a plan and not to know how things are going to work out. It’s okay to take things as they come and not know where you’ll end up. And it’s very okay to take some time off and sit down and enjoy the moments. I’ve realised that this is going to be a big theme in this blog. Living in the moment. And I suppose that’s because its going to be such a big part of my journey. Learning not to live in wonder and sometimes fear at what the future holds but being able to sit down and say ‘Okay, I’m here at this moment in time, in this amazing place, with amazing people, and I feel beautiful, I’m healthy and strong and I deserve to do something that makes you happy right now this very second.’ I love the work that I’m doing at Uni and I’m enjoying living this learning experience but I need to learn to also love the rest of it as well, to love being by myself, to love going on adventures and to embrace this place that I’m in in my life right now. And I encourage you to do the same.
So sit back, grab some Oreos, and let’s see what life has to offer us next.