Twenty-Four

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So tomorrow is my twenty-fourth birthday. If I could use one word to reflect on the year that has passed between my twenty-third birthday and now, it would be strength. I have found a strength that helps me to get back up when I fall. I have found an inner strength to do what I know I am meant to do, teach. The road to being a teacher is going to be a hard one but I know that my passion, dedication and strength will get me there.

I have also realised the importance of gratitude and appreciation of the little things that make me happy. It isn’t easy for me to be positive but I always try to think of at least three things I am grateful for each day. No matter how bad my day may be or how I feel about the direction of my life, I always try to step back and evaluate the blessings in my life rather than the imperfections.

Some days I do feel stuck, like the world is passing me by, the clock is ticking and I am no closer to getting the life I want, but I am learning now to stop, notice my negative thoughts, then change them. This is something I learned in therapy and I am starting to slowly apply it to my life.

I have to keep telling myself that my life path has its own timeline and what may take someone one year to do, may take me five, but it doesn’t matter. I strongly believe that in life ambition will lead you to success, perseverance will lead to positive actions and positivity will lead you to happiness. I remind myself on a daily basis of my goals and I always see each day as another small step towards achieving them.

My challenge for myself during the next year of my life (before I reach the grand old age of 25) is to start living in the present moment. This is something that I struggle with and is the root cause of my anxiety. With a combination of studying Buddhism, meditating and practicing yoga, I am slowly but surely on the way to learning how to be mindful and just ‘be’.

Another challenge in my path this following year will be balance. I know that when I start my teacher training in September (if I pass this maths test), I will struggle with the work-life balance. Finding time to relax and enjoy life, with the chaotic, stressful and challenging year of studying, working and learning.

Whatever happens in the 365 days between now and my twenty-fifth birthday, I hope that I find joy in the little things, I hope I learn to believe in myself more, to laugh, love and live each day with a positive attitude because life is passing me by and I don’t want to waste any more time worrying about things I can’t control or choosing to live an unhappy life or surrounding myself with people that don’t allow me to be the best version of myself.

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Distractions, Dissertations & Dedication.

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So I received information today about my dissertation for next year, third year discussion already? Wow! University really does fly on by… The good thing about being on a creative course is that I can do a creative piece for my final dissertation. YES! We are given options to either do a large collection of poetry, collection of short stories amounting to 6,000 words or the first two chapters of a novel also amounting to 6,000 words. The easier option for me would be the collection of short stories but I want to be a novelist so I think it would make sense to do that.

I keep running away from the word ‘novel’ and I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s because the amount of writing is so daunting. The typical novel is 80,000 words and the thought of it terrifies me. I am more comfortable with shorter pieces but I really want to write a novel. I think if I had the dedication and no distractions I could write a novel, but there are too many of them for me. The internet is the worst one. I find myself browsing the internet, watching Facebook and hoping for something to arrive on my news feed that actually interests me. I find myself watching countless TV shows online and I wonder if I added up all the time wasted doing that I probably could have written half a novel by now. I think being an author in the modern world is difficult because technology takes up a lot of our time.

After hearing that for my dissertation I can write two chapters of a novel the ideas have been buzzing around my head like electrical impulses and I didn’t waste any time as I wrote them all down. I look at it this way – I have five months once I finish this academic year and then I am starting my third year. In that time I can easily write the first draft of my dissertation. It’s not like I’m going to have anything else to do… I need a job. That is my main priority in the summer but writing my dissertation draft is a close second. I think my struggle is I don’t know what kind of writer I am yet.

I know what I like to write and I can see myself being a novelist but genre wise I’m not sure. I have tried several different genres. And hopefully fantasy is my next experiment. I have an idea for a modern day fantasy – lets see where I go with that. I know that I have the dedication to be a novelist but with distractions it is definitely harder to write. I complain about not having enough time but I need to make time. If I am serious about being a writer I need to write. Makes sense really.