A Year

It’s been over a year since receiving a rejection from my preferred university, and less than a year since knowing I was going to go there.

A year; a reflection.

Flicking through the clumsy marginalia and scribbles in my moleskine diary, I stumbled across the week that I spent mourning the immense loss and pain after results day, but exactly 56 weeks after that, we are here. We happen to be living now: on the 27 September. And by this time next week, I will be there. I will be in Durham.

I will (try to) document my stay there; what I get up to and student life in general. It’ll be interesting. I’m intrigued.

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Here’s to new beginnings.

2016 seems to have arrived unwaveringly, striding through the threshold of time without once looking back. But before beginning this year, I wanted to take time to thank 2015 for all the opportunities and new experiences it has given me; I am very grateful.

What would a new year be without slurs of resolutions and talks of new beginnings? Newly regimented exercise schemes that are never started, aims to study harder never really accomplished – the list goes on.

Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.

Above is a remark made by Ovid, a long time ago.

Instead of failed resolutions and disappointment, know that some things are destined and some are, well, not. Be patient and content and confident; the course of nature will find its way to you. I have been inspired by Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’, which I am in the process of finishing. It has given me hope – a mere fable, but a story so touching and profound. It has been a great start to the new year.

It’s odd to think that this new year really will mean a new adventure for me. I leave to Japan in early January: the beginning of my true gap year. I look forward to what fate has kindly predestined for me.

A wavering thought

The wavering thought of whether I’ve made the right decision haunts me. However, more recently, I have found faith in the idea that all things happen for a reason. Not because of some higher power that creates fate and a predestined future for each individual (or maybe?), but because whatever we do, it is neither right or wrong; the choices we make mean something – and we should have faith in ourselves.

That is what keeps me on my feet: knowing that whatever we do, we will find happiness. I’d like to think there are no such things as mistakes, and that everything we do  acts as a reminder, lesson or something to instill confidence and righteousness.

Rosemary

I began reading Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and a quote stood out to me. It reads, “You’re the only girl I’ve seen for a long time that actually did look like something blooming.”

Putting that quote into a different context, I think that more recently, that girl may be me.

For those of you who have read this book, I do not consider myself to be Rosemary, though I feel like I can connect to many aspects of her innocence, dreams and the subtle transformation of her character. But reading this one quote captured me, as if slowly everything in the world came to a halt. At that moment, I felt like I was motionlessly looking at myself through a mirror, self-examining and wondering about how I myself had finally bloomed perhaps, into a more complex and intricate being.

Everyone around me is going to university, and I feel as though I have strayed from the usual path. I have started making my way, but I can still see everybody, and I question whether I should turn back while I can. Looking at my past self, I sometimes realise how naive and anxious I had been, but I have made the decision that time is not worth wasting on things that ultimately won’t matter to us and determine who we are if we don’t let them.

The primal reason behind my gap year is not getting into my first choice university because of 1 mark (literally). But I have come to realise life moves on and we have little control in that matter.

And you know what? I think that can sometimes be a great thing. Life is constantly ushering you forward, endlessly propelling you into the future. Unlike the Rosemary, we are not fictional, and someone else does not and cannot control what we say and do. We exist. This is reality. And we have to seize it.

There is always a part of us that blooms with new experiences, like Rosemary; and for me – I think it will be this gap year.

I hope that my journey can reassure someone out there that it’s all going to be okay. And it will.

“In any case you mustn’t confuse a single failure with a final defeat.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night