My little lightbulb moment (Simone)

Lately I’ve been pondering my various possibilities and aspirations for the future. God, that sounds deep, hey?! But I promise you, I don’t mean to be corny and write a rambling post declaring myself to have these absolutely marvellous life plans where everything is mapped out – like in those movies where the girl decides that at 20, she’ll be this, have that, so that a few years later, she has things so perfectly worked out that she can skip through a field of daisies and sing like some kind of beautiful Disney princess, just about to meet her Prince Charming and live her happily ever after. Nope! That’s definitely not what I mean to write today. In fact, it’s the opposite! Because, I’m realising more and more that life changes, and that that’s okay. You change your mind all the time, or else something else in your life shifts, and your future – even if it’s only your short term future – is suddenly rewritten. This is a pretty lame example, but for instance, I woke up with my head cold even worse on Friday, and so all of my plans for the weekend had to be cleared and made way for a few lonely days in bed, surrounded by crumbled tissues (not fun if you were wondering!!).

My particular ‘moment’ of realisation came during an early Monday morning psychology tutorial. My eyelids were drooping, handwritten notes scrappy, and I was staring at a complicated looking powerpoint slide for Quantitative Methods (in other words, an extended version of the statistical part of year 12 Further Maths/some basic parts of Math Methods involving calculating the standard deviation… those three dot dot dots right there speak for themselves!). Unfortunately, there was no angelic music soundtrack to this little moment (the world would be so awesome if there was! Everyone needs some Adele when they’re having a bad day and crying in the rain. Never mind I’ll find, someone like yoouuu! Or when they’ve just stood up for themselves when someone is getting them down, and Aretha Franklin bursts on, R-E-S-P-E-C-T! That’s what I need for me! Yeeah!). I don’t know what it was, really. It was just like all of a sudden, I overwhelmingly knew – and found myself ready to admit – that what I want to really be, and enjoy doing more than anything else, is do with writing, of reading, of all things literature. And of nothing to do with anything to do with understanding the basal ganglia or maths or the peripheral nervous system!

This might sound like a bit of a relief in the light I’m painting it, and though it was at first a typical cartoon lightbulb moment, it has taken me some time to come to terms with it. In dropping psychology, I feel like I’m a bit of a failure. There’s an annoying voice in my head that whines, everyone else in your lecture can do this sciencey stuff and enjoys it, Simone, what is wrong with you? Why are you taking the easy option out? I’m a bit nervous about admitting to all of my friends that I’ve decided 6 years of stats and science and research reports won’t be my thing, in a similar way to that of the lovely people I’ve met at uni through psychology and don’t want to lose. ‘Second semester is meant to be easier,’ says everyone supportively. ‘Don’t give up yet!’

But what is the point of continuing to struggle through a subject you’re not really committed to? That you can no longer imagine pursuing? A part of me feels a bit sad. I’m losing my old dream of helping children through psychology. And for a long while, I loved this dream, so it’s hard to let it go. And there are things I love about psych. I love the challenge of it, in a way. I love learning about the brain, not in the way I struggle to comprehend it all, but how I can now realise how amazing the brain is, and how far science has come, how amazing the people in psych really are. Furthermore, I love the energy in the lecture theatre before psychology starts. It’s not a reason to continue a subject, but psychology lectures seem to have the best vibe! And so I’ll miss them. And I’ll miss the people I’ve met through psych, and I’m scared I’ll never see them again. I guess, I’m also a bit scared that I’ll regret this change, that I’ll have made the wrong decision and I’ll blame myself in the future for “giving up” so quickly. But it’s not giving up, really, is it? It’s growing up, it’s finding out who you really are, who you want to be, where your passions truly lie. Maybe sometimes change is scary. Maybe that’s okay.

I have a love/hate relationship with being a young person, a teenager. I love the endless possibilities that the future holds. In a way, I love not always knowing where my life is headed. But I hate the fear that comes with that, the fear of making wrong decisions that could potentially send you down the ‘wrong track’, the wondering of what this ‘right track’ really is anyway, and of how on earth you’re going to get there. I don’t know who said being a teenager is the ‘best part’ of your life – right now all I can think of this idea is: pfff!





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