Plan? What Plan?

“…the only thing that actually stays the same is that things are always changing.”

Penny, The Big Bang Theory (Season 12, Episode 23)

In life, there are few certainties. The only things we can be sure about are:

  1. We are all going to die (I know, morbid!)
  2. Change is the only constant

I was watching an episode of the Big Bang Theory, when the reality of this really hit me; if these are the only things we can guarantee in life, then that leaves us with so many unknowns. So, so, many unknowns that it’s mind boggling.

I mean, I wake up every morning. I have a rough checklist of what I want to do. But the way that the day actually unfolds is something I can’t control, and cannot possibly know. It could be a boringly ordinary day, or it could be the day I win the lotto, meet my future spouse, publish a book – the number of possibilities out there are limitless, ranging from the mundane to things beyond my wildest imaginations.

Case in point, our current pandemic would have seemed like something out of a sci-fi novel or apocalyptic movie only a couple of years ago – who would have thought we would be living it now?

Sometimes, the uncertainties of life can be a source of frustration – will I ever find another job? When can I get a dog?? Will house prices finally drop???

Sometimes, it’s something that makes me appreciate the good times.

Mostly though, it’s a thing that makes me marvel and wonder – because we don’t know what tomorrow can bring, then that means I can still dream and hope and work towards my goals. So much can change in a moment, right?

One Day When…

I like the age that I am; I like the experiences that I have gone through, the knowledge that I have gained – even the struggles that I have encountered. All these things have shaped me into a person that I like better today, more than I liked even two or three years ago.

But the one thing I don’t like about being in my late twenties is being single. Actually, more specifically, it’s not being single that’s the problem. It’s being the only remaining single person within my friend group.

It’s a weird thing to watch my friends getting married, buying houses and talking about having babies, whereas I’m single, flatting and wanting a fur-baby more than an actual baby. If life was a game, then it feels like they are rolling the dice and moving on to the next level, while I’m still stuck on the first stage.

I’m happy for them, but there is a niggle inside of me that I hate to even acknowledge – a niggle that says, “Hey, wait for me,” and “When is it my turn?”.

And then, on Sunday, I attended a sermon where the pastor preached two pertinent points:

  1. God gives us what we need (not necessarily what we want). Oftentimes the wait between out prayer being received and answered is what we need; this is where the work happens.
  2. “One day when…” mentality. This mentality is when we think, “One day when… (I get a new job/I get married/ I have kids, etc)…I will be happy”, and usually occurs when we are waiting for something that we want (or think we want).

Listening to that, I realised: that is me! Watching my close friends get married, buying houses, and have kids… they are things I had always wanted, but am now impatient to have, if only so that I can be in the same stage of life as them. I’ve gotten into the habit of thinking ,”one day when”. One day when I meet the right person, I will be this, or do that. I was stuck in a sort of purgatory, just waiting for what I wanted.

It made me realise that while what I want is a partner, what I need is personal growth – and maybe that is what this period of ‘waiting’ is intended to provide.

It’s easy for me to forget that you can’t rush life, especially as I can’t help but compare myself to my friends – I know that I shouldn’t, but knowing doesn’t mean I can automatically stop.

I think in those moments, what I need to remember is this: life is not linear, or a race.

Job Hunting

I feel like I have made a lot of changes this year… new phone, new car, new wardrobe, new flat, new hobbies. Next up: new job.

Or at least, I’m trying to find a new job. Turns out, it’s a lot easier said than done, because after 13+ applications over a month of searching, I have only heard back from one company – and said company then ghosted me after a 30 minute phone screening.

It’s been a while since I’ve had so much trouble landing even an interview, and it makes me wonder what I am doing wrong. Am I asking for too much money, do I not enough valid experience, or is my CV and cover letter just not good enough?

The last time I faced this much rejection was just before I entered my current company, fresh out of university. I remember the same feelings of frustration and hopelessness as application after application was turned down. Eventually, those feelings morphed into desperation, leading me to apply for a customer service position at Company X (I had worked in far too many customer service roles throughout university, and was steadfastly against entering another).

Life has a way of working out though, because that customer service position at Company X was the best role I could have hoped for out of university; it was a foot in the door at a major company, was so much more than ‘just’ customer services, and put me under the wings of a mentor who helped elevate my career.

So, yes, I am feeling frustrated again as each application appears to be a dead-end.

But I’m also hopeful that something better is waiting around the corner, because when one door is closed, another opens.

As I’ve said before in a previous post, I just gotta have faith (and a little patience)!

Happenstance

Definition of happenstance: a circumstance especially that is due to chance

Meriam Webster Dictionary

Do you believe in timing? Not timing as in the scheduling of meetings, or dinner dates, but the right timing for things to happen in your life?

For me personally, I have experienced a number of events that seemed like happenstance at the time, but as I look back and reflect, make me think that maybe, it has more to do with the right timing.

One fairly recent example of this is my breakup with a long-term partner. We had been in a relationship for almost 5 years. Things weren’t perfect, but they weren’t awful – I could see myself getting married to him, starting a family with him, growing old together. In my heart though, I knew that we weren’t right for each other. We loved each other, but our viewpoints on life were so different that we argued as much as we laughed.

Why stay? Because we had been together for so long, that both my family and his family expected us to – that future I could see for us was in part the weight of the expectations set out for us. I was also afraid – afraid of disappointing our families, afraid of being single again, afraid of not finding love again, afraid of the unknowns.

One night though, I happened to check his phone. Something I have never done before. And I found a message that I wasn’t meant to see. Long story short, we broke up.

I was sad, and angry – some of the things I was afraid of also eventuated; both our families were upset, I was single and feeling alone, and I didn’t know what the future held (I still don’t).

What I also felt though, was a giant sense of relief – a feeling that everything would be okay, and that this was the right decision; of all the rollercoaster of emotions faced, never once have I doubted this or regretted the choice.

What does this have to do with the right timing?

I have one unbreakable rule in a relationship: no cheating. I trust easily, but break that trust, and I find it difficult to rebuild.

If I had broken up with my ex over any other thing or argument we had in the past, I know I would have wondered “what if?”. I would have been stuck in a cycle of regret, pining after a fantasy version of him rather than being able to view it with a clear perspective. Instead, I broke up with him at the right time under the right circumstance.

And now? Even though I sometimes feel impatient about what the future holds, I also have a deep-seated sense of peace that I am exactly where I am meant to be for this season of my life.

Life isn’t always made of happy moments, but it helps to be reminded that everything happens for a reason at the right time (or, if you believe in God, His plan).

Just have a little faith.

Happy

When I was 22 years old, I got my first “proper” boyfriend.

When I was 26 years old, I experienced my first “proper” heartache.

At 27 and a half years old, I realised; life has no “proper” timeline.

Ever since I was a young girl, and  first discovered Mills & Boon novels, I have been a hardcore romantic. I thought my life would follow the course of those Mills & Boons heroines, I thought I needed a partner to be happy and fulfilled.

Becoming single again, after four years of being a ‘couple’, has proven that is NOT to be the case.

Contrary to what I believed, I find myself happier than I can remember being in years. I find myself discovering new hobbies and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I find myself becoming empowered, and learning not to settle for “just enough” or waiting “until the right one comes along”.

I find myself realising that I need to be happy with myself and my life as it is first, and not worry about finding someone to spend it with.

I find myself hopeful.

Breaking-Up is Hard to Do

I’ve heard it said before, but never understood it until I experienced it myself: breaking up is hard to do.

Seriously, it’s tough. The range and depth of emotions that comes with it is unfathomable; love songs and romance novels take on a whole new meaning. Suddenly, you are part of a sisterhood/ brotherhood of the broken-hearted.

I’m single… the first time I said it out loud, it was weird. And tough to say without triggering an outburst of tears. In my instance, the relationship had been slowly crumbling for years – but to be honest, no matter the reason, when someone who is a major part of your life is no longer in it, it hurts. That’s just basic fact.

Let yourself feel that hurt.

Know that it will get better.

Know that healing won’t be a linear process; there will be days where you think you are over it, and then others where you can’t stop grieving for the future lost.

Know that you will emerge from this heartache stronger and happier than you have ever been before.

From someone who has come out on the other side

I Wonder

I used to wonder…

How do lovers end up becoming haters?

How do people who were at the center of your life end up becoming strangers?

How do close knit friends end up becoming mere acquaintances?

I wonder, what happens to all those feelings, shared experiences and memories?

I’ve experienced all of the above, and still have no answers.

But I guess it’s the same way that a stranger can become your closest confidante.

A casual friendship can become your strongest and most enduring relationship .

A chance encounter can mean you meet your soul mate.

An instant connection can be felt with a person you just met.

I wonder at the magic of human interactions.