It’s A Contrastic Life

#500WordsEveryDay tells the writers to ask questions today about Contrast. While I was researching contrast and some examples, I came across this simple definition:

Contrast (noun) the state of being strikingly different from something else in juxtaposition or close association.

This definition is a perfect descriptor the stage of my life that I am currently living. A mere 6 months ago, I was finishing my undergraduate degree at Norwich University. I was in-season playing rugby, interning with the Writer’s Series, living in the house I’d been renting for 2 years. I thrived on my daily schedule, which had been packed full for as long as I could remember. It took me months to read a book of my own choosing, simply because the hours in the day never seemed to stretch long enough. Looking back now, I was good at being in college. Really good. The schedule, the discussions, the projects, the opportunities I had there; it all appealed to me. My experience was the richest and fullest that it could’ve possibly been. I don’t have a single regret about college, but I wouldn’t want to go back in time.

Currently, I’m taking half a gap year to play rugby, travel and focus on writing, with a hint of planning my future. Oh, and I happen to be living in Wales, UK. I have little to no daily schedule. No plans, beyond my rugby fixtures and practices. I have no opportunity to get a job, as we are on Holiday visas and aren’t allowed to work. I have some things in storage back home, but for the most part wherever I am is my home. I don’t know anything about the future but I do know this: my life now could not be any different than it was 6 months ago.

When I think of contrasting ideas, it’s my mentality in March and my mentality now. The way I’m living now is not exactly what I pictured in the months following college would be. Getting a degree puts you on cloud 9, it feels as though you have every opportunity you could ever want. To finish your degree and then have no job that coincides with what you want to do…let’s just say it’s an incredible letdown. In March, my focus was finishing my degree and finding a place in a professional setting using my achieved degree. It never occurred to me until I was walking across the stage that maybe I wasn’t ready to drop everything and search for that shiny, golden job. Frankly, I might never be.

Soon after I graduated (when I was working two jobs to save for Wales), I found a post on the university website advertising the opportunity to apply for a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English abroad. Perfect! Great fit, delay student loans, see the world, what could be better? Well, besides the fact that it’s one of the hardest grants to receive in the nation, the program starts in January 2016, nearly a year and a half from the time I began the application. That’s a lot of time to fill. I knew I’d be living in Wales for about 6 months, but after that remains a complete question mark.

The difference between my mentality in March and now is that I’m okay with not knowing where I’ll be next. I working on my own projects at my own pace, while I have the freedom and time to work on what I wish. Although it may drive me mad someday soon that I don’t have the pressure of deadlines and assignments, how I’m living now is working for me. Who knows where I’ll be next or what i’ll be doing? But there’s one thing I’ve learned thus far: it’s a contrastic life (yes, a new word! Contrast+Fantastic. You read it here first).

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