If I were to chart my journey through this gap year I would say that I started off nowhere and I’m not yet somewhere but I’m on my way there. I started this journey without a destination in mind, now slowly it’s all coming into the picture. I am just following the day, where it takes me is not my concern.
We, humans, spend too much time searching for a somewhere. It’s not a bad thing, but this year I’ve been asked where I am going way too many times for me to ignore it. At the start, I thought it was a sensible question and was annoyed that I didn’t have an answer. Towards April, I treated it like a joke, by August I responded with sarcasm, now I don’t mind being asked and I don’t mind saying I don’t know.
All I know about where I’m heading is that it will be better than where I was before. That’s the only answer I have. I also know that I’ve been putting all my effort into making it happen. I don’t know how to speak empty words. But at least I’m not afraid of questions that come my way. I know now that my gap year needn’t be what others imagine it to be. I’ve been asked where did I go? What did I do? Who did I meet? For me my gap year was much more than that, it was about, Who am I? For me, that was more important.
I did see a lot, learnt a lot and did a lot, but I know a little more about myself now. I know what I can handle and what I cannot. I know what I am good at, in fact, I realised my capability is much more than what I thought it was. I was able to prove to myself that I could do what I thought I couldn’t.
Between somewhere and nowhere is nice, maybe I’ll never get somewhere, maybe I might end up nowhere. Now I know it doesn’t matter, I’ll be fine. I mean if the worst that can happen is that I live in this house for the rest of my life, it’s not such a bad proposition. It makes it a little easier knowing that I will do everything in my power to amount to more than that, so if this is the worst that can happen, it’s ok.
A few years back right out of school, I wanted to prove others wrong, today I have only myself left to prove wrong. I always knew that one day I’d have to face my demons, I began 2018 trying to escape them, now I am slowly plucking up the courage to call it a truce with them. I am still extremely afraid, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think anybody is a hundred per cent brave all the time. But I have braved things in the past. I know the worst is past me.
I made a promise to myself on my birthday this year, that I was never going to turn my back to the sun again. This year news-wise and change-wise have been remarkable. Who would have thought so much would happen? We can look forward to next year. We can’t discount change however small it may be. We all know it can be better, but we’re one step closer to better, aren’t we?
We’re between somewhere and nowhere and it’s nice here. Who knows where we head from here? Does it matter? I’ve been focussing on trivialities, not seeing the larger picture. To get here wasn’t easy at all. But slowly the burden lightens as I take a couple of steps forward.
I might not have the same clarity tomorrow so I have to write all of this today. Even though I see this year slowly ending, it still feels like yesterday, it still feels natural. I don’t feel like spaces are closing in on me, of course, there’s turmoil but it’s not the bad kind. It feels organic. This feels right, that’s all I know.
I’m leaving reminders of myself around the house again, one piece of paper in one corner, some stationery here, a book there. It’s mostly books I leave in corners. I do this absent-mindedly every time I have to leave home for a long period of time. My Mum will arrange it all once I’m gone, that’s how she deals with it, I leave my cupboard messy on purpose.
I am a really organised person but I leave my wardrobe messy on purpose when I leave because on some days my Mum will look through it hoping to find a bit of me. She’ll clean it out, fold all the clothes and call me letting me know she’s done that so that I don’t come back and yell at her for changing the position of my things. I’ve been doing this for years.
I find myself going through drawers just because, pulling out my old drawings, my little dreams are written down on paper. I look at the big handwriting, I can read the concentration of my ten-year-old self as she tried to size the letters right, the eraser lines give her away. As a serial hoarder, I have every piece of scrap I ever owned. They’ve collected a lot of dust over time. But whenever it’s time for a change I look at them, go through them and try to relive that excitement.
Between somewhere and nowhere, I stand here and I don’t mind.