Thursday, 14 October 2010

Dealing with Unpredictability: Perhaps this is all part of it...

Image thanks to eduardo

Like many people, I consider myself a bit of a control freak at times. I like to know what’s going to happen, exactly what, and when, so I can start preparing for how to deal with it. Sometimes, of course, this just isn’t possible – sometimes we must give ourselves up to a world outside of our deluded brackets of control. Sometimes, we must rejoice in unpredictability.

Do you ever think that perhaps this is all part of it? That it's possible to find yourself in a situation that at first leaves you thinking ‘why am I here?’ and then suddenly find it has thrust you into a complete EUREKA! direction?

Spain has left me feeling unsure of my choice to come here. It’s loose, it’s laugh-a-minute, it’s play hard, work when you can. I’m certainly not your typical party animal; I’m a self-confessed nerd, a workaholic, I’m a serial striver... 

And yet, once I decided to stop fighting against the wave, to try on a new rhythm for the duration of my time here and see how it fits, so much has been slotting into place. I’m talking thoughts about my relationship, what I’d like to go on to study at postgraduate level, where my real interests in my subject lie, where I’d like to live, where I can take this blog next... It’s like this experience threw all the pieces of my life up into the air, jostled them around in one big whirlwind, and now they are slowly dropping into a new order which is completely thrilling and unexpected. 

That’s the beauty of the unpredictability inherent in travel and new experience: as much as you can doubt yourself, ultimately, you can find yourself. 

Once you let go of the reigns a little, life throws surprises at you, things you could never have thought of, things that make life an adventure rather than a plain old checklist.

My top tips for letting a little unpredictability into your life?

1. Challenge yourself. Do the thing you think you can’t, stick with something just a little bit longer before you decide it’s not worth it.

2. Change location. It’s truly incredible how your perspective can change once you get out of your familiar bubble for a while. This may not be as extreme as going to live in another country for a year, as I have done, (but if you get the opportunity, I’m telling you it’s worth it!) but can be as simple as a weekend away somewhere different. Alone is best, or with a very new friend as you’ll gain a different experience, and fresh perspective, with their influence. I’ve recently discovered Couch Surfing and it is just amazing as a way to connect with people anywhere and everywhere!

3. Get swept up. If something has been happening that you’ve been trying to resist, stop. Jump in, try it on for size. I really believe there is a rhythm to life beyond what we can comprehend, and though it is our nature to try and order what seems chaotic, sometimes this chaos is not chaos at all, and if you’ll only let it take you, even just for a little while, where you end up might just be the place you’ve been trying to get to all along.

4. Change your routine. Go to bed later, or earlier. Take a different route on your way to school or work. Stop and have a coffee with a new acquaintance when really ‘you should be getting back...’ Check out a totally alien part of your town, or a nearby town. Try a new restaurant or cook a recipe which you can’t pronounce. Get a radical new haircut. Go to the foreign films section of your local DVD rental and pick a movie with your eyes closed.

Maybe it’s not that things ‘happen for a reason’, maybe it’s just that you can find reason – and direction, and significance, and light – in whatever happens. Perhaps it’s not fate, but faith, faith in yourself and your capacities to revel in the undiscovered, faith in the unpredictable, which ultimately decides your life.


Kc said...

Great post megan!! :) I agree with you totally - even one little step that scares the crap outta you can make you happier then you thought possible :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post!! I really needed to hear something like this right now.

Karen said...

This is such great and inspiring post Megan. I'm glad that going to Spain gives you the opportunity to take a new perspective. I'm sure my Erasmus time in Sweden did the same for me and I loved every minute of it :)

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Wonderful, inspiring post!

Katie Michelle said...

My thoughts exactly at this moment in new mantra: "Let the chips fall, let them fall where they may." It is making life a lot more enjoyable.

Giorgia Student-Flair Blog said...

CouchSurfing is soooo great! I've met so many friends!

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