Part of what makes our lives so amazing is the unpredictability, the unknown. But there are moments, or more likely, situations, which make us wish we could avail of some knowledgeable insight.
There's been a gap between my last post and this one because the week has just gotten away from me. Project "Change Your Mind" (I'm still not sold on the name, suggestions welcome) had it's pilot program on Wednesday. Working between ReachOut.com HQ and Bridge21, we took 15 students, spent the morning discussing and thinking of solutions in the whole spectrum of mental health and in the afternoon, working in groups, the students pitched their 'big idea' to revolutionize how we think about and treat this subject. To say I was bowled over by the whole experience is an understatement.
In the aftermath, as it became clear that we were really tapping into something powerful and as I re-watched the videos the students made, I actually cried. Which is not something I do very often and I'm totally blaming it on me just being (happily) overwhelmed by everything and not that I'm just a big softie.
So between coming back down to earth from all that, some work and errands and a trip to Battle of Clontarf extravaganza in St Anne's Park today, I've barely had time to sleep, never mind blog. However, now that I've indulged in some banter and a hay fight, normal service resumes.
Given the week behind me and the weeks that lie behind those, I got thinking about the past, present and future. I thought about how far the project with the students came in just a few short weeks; I thought about how far I've come in just a few short months. I pondered on some things from days gone by, of the people who have come and gone and remained in my life over the last few years. I celebrated the goodness and joy currently present in my life, grateful for such purpose and contentment.
My mind then drifted to the future. You're often asked in interviews "And where do you picture yourself in five years time?". What a difficult question to answer, even if they are only referring to your career. Life changes on a dime and it can be difficult to predict where you'll be in five months time, never mind five years. And even if you do have an idea of where you would like to be, the reality of it will probably be somewhat different (for better or worse).
As I belly-crawl through my 20s, I know that I am making memories and friends and beginning relationships that will continue to nourish me the rest of my life. Everything that happens to me leaves the marks of a fingerprint across me, ones that will forever be imprinted. But I can't help but be curious about how big or small a role such connections will play in my future. Don't misunderstand me in what I'm about to say next, okay? I'm in no rush for such things to occur. But there are times I wonder who I will one day call my husband, how many children we'll have, where we'll live. I wonder what countries I will go to, where my writing will take me, if I'll still love ham and cheese toasties as much when I'm 28 (nearly 29) as I do now.
Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to grow up faster than time allowed. It became a joke that I was 7, going on 77, 8 going on 88 and so forth. That natural impatience combined with life experience means that I don't feel my age or act my age. So while many twentysomethings would break into a sweat at such hypothetical thoughts as the ones I just outlined, I don't. I don't feel anxious - I'm curious.
I don't want to speed up the natural process of all this, half of the fun is in the journey. But if some psychic intervention was offered, I wouldn't refuse. The idea that someone or something could take the tangled threads in my head and show me the grander fabric they're woven into is very appealing.
Maybe they would be able to tell me why I always fall in love with an open door. Why, despite a lot of progress and effort, there are times when I set my heart on what I know is unattainable, yet still find it near-impossible to let go. Will my tenacity and independence be a hindrance to me? Will I get what I want? Or better still, have I already found what and I want and need, but am too stubborn to see it through youthful eyes? What's the difference between something not being right for you and you not being ready for it? And how will I know when to keep the candle lit, just in case, and when to snuff it out?
Maybe I won't have the answers to all these questions in five years time, I reckon some of them I probably still won't have the answer to after a life-time. Ah, but if I only I could sneak a peek...