No one is exempt from the messiness of change and progress. Looking back at the journal I started in January, it has become clear to me that personal development, recovery and relationships are not linear. There probably won’t come a day when I think, ‘Oh good, this is all sorted now. No complications here’.
So far, 2016 has seen me consider staying in Oxford, think about moving to London or Brighton and actually end up at home for the foreseeable future. Health difficulties continued and resurfaced. I decided to begin a Master’s full-time, then part-time. I didn’t get a job I was interested in, but then I accepted one I really wanted. I started this blog. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones. I went on a few dates. I made choices and I changed my mind, with some moments of panic thrown in. Alongside all that, I settled into myself.
This year has shown me that life is unlikely to fit into the neat little boxes we lay out for it. I’m learning to embrace unpredictability more, at work and in my relationships. All of the planning in the world will not necessarily pull the pieces together. As Jamie Varon puts it, ‘if it’s not the time, it’s just not the time’.
Right now, I’m fairly content. I’m enjoying the excitement of new opportunities and the slower pace of the seaside. I’m not entirely physically recovered, but my symptoms are gradually easing up and I’m lucky to be able to work in a way that suits me at the moment. My idea of young professionalism has broadened to include Google Hangouts from my garden and lunchtime naps.
Wherever you’re at, know that progress looks different for everyone. Sometimes you’ll work hard for it and at other times it will arrive unannounced. It will test you and confuse you, only to push you further in the right direction. You might not be on the track you expected, with the person you hoped for, or in the place you aspire to live, but progress is progress. Remember to celebrate the little victories along the way.