I haven’t really written a post on post-university life. I mean, I did post about graduation and the days immediately afterwards, but I’ve been home over a month now and obviously things have changed since I wrote about the ‘almost daily sense of loss’ I had been experiencing. This post is to explain some of the emotions and realisations I have been experiencing in this crazy life change.
Firstly, I don’t miss St. Andrews any more. I miss people, and events/gatherings, but I don’t miss being in the town itself and being a student. The sense of loss has disappeared. I’m still convinced that it will return with a vengeance once Freshers begins and I see tons of photos on Facebook showing how much fun everyone’s having (week long Facebook sabbatical realistically happening) and the loss of my homegroup, who became my family and core support group, will definitely hit me once they resume meeting…without me. But I’m no longer looking backwards. I may be in a state of transition right now, between uni and my year in Hong Kong, but I’m looking forward to every day and what it might bring. At first, I was actually quite down about being at home, on my own, every day, for 6 months. I don’t really see people. I spend a LOT of time alone. I go to bed at 10.30 at the latest. The first week or two this was absolute torture, until I realised that this was a unique opportunity I never had at uni and probably won’t have again in my life. It is a time to sit and be, to just get to know myself and be content in my own company. If I ever happened to find myself alone at university I’d go and find people to hang out with, because I hated being alone (and partly because I have mild FOMO – fear of missing out). But over thIs past month I have learnt the beauty of being alone and just resting.
This brings me to point 2: when you allow time for just being, you learn things you never knew about yourself. And God, for that matter; my quiet times have become drastically longer and more fulfilling and I feel so much more content and joyful because I can now tangibly feel Jesus’ touch on my life. I’m learning things about Him I never realised and every day I’m excited to learn more. But more on that in another post, maybe. Point 2 is what drove me to write this post. Recently, because I have had lots of spare time, I have discovered hobbies I have that I didn’t know about or had forgotten about. I have resumed cross stitching and I pick up a book almost every day. I have started accompanying my stepdad to the driving range (the irony of taking up golf after leaving St. Andrews does not escape me). I actually really enjoy ironing. And my biggest joy at the moment, the reason this post is being written, is cooking. I used to hate cooking and see it as a means to an end; baking was always my specialty as I’m sure many people reading this agree with. But recently I have been experimenting with different dishes and opening cookbooks I’ve owned for years for the first time and I have to say, it’s become quite fun to create these dishes from nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Michelin chef, but I’m learning slowly and trying out new recipes and its amazing how easy thinking up things to eat and figuring out how to use up things in the fridge come to you when you allow time to think about it! I’ve also become quite refined, if I do say so myself – cooking with Classic FM on and occasionally having a glass of wine too… (: Overall, I think the main thing I’m learning is that I’m growing up and learning how to live as an adult with responsibility rather than a student with none. I’m learning how to be content with myself and enjoy just being rather than always doing, which is a lesson I have needed to learn for a while!
I’m also learning how to reach out to those around me. Because I have more time to think and consider, I’m finding it much easier to identify people I want to talk to more and pursue deeper friendships with and I now have the time to do that. Especially in my new home church, where there still isn’t anyone I really know very well. It is so humbling to go every Sunday and actively have to seek out people to talk to. Luckily everyone is really friendly!! But all of these things feed into one another – because I am becoming content in myself, I don’t feel I need to prove anything to people and so there’s less pressure on me to get people to like me. I keep reminding myself that I am equals with them and it doesn’t have to be awkward…but of course it is still nerve wracking!! I am thankful for all of these lessons I’m learning though because I know they’re going to come in really useful later in life, or maybe not even that much later!
So essentially, this time which I have before I go to Hong Kong that I originally viewed as painful and a means to an end has actually turned out to be one of the biggest blessings I have had in a year. Taking time out to just be is so important and I’m actually quite sad I didn’t do it earlier! If I were a committed blogger I would revise this several times and make sure it made sense and had everything in I wanted to say before I published it…but it’s 10pm. Almost bedtime. And I’m so tired! So this will have to do. (: sayonara and sweet dreams from me!