A Letter To My Younger Self

Close up of a girl smiling on the beach as she brushes hair out of her face

Dear Zara,

Count yourself as blessed, your life is one that is full of love and laughter. I know that there were difficult times when you were not sure how to smile but you will come to understand that with good times also comes difficulty. It’s through that difficulty that life becomes all the more sweet. 

You have never had trouble in making friends but in keeping them. As you grow older you will lose people from your life fast and hard but you need to understand that this is nothing personal. It is a natural part growing up. Your interests have started to change and there is less common ground to cover. In the long run, you will see that this is better than trying to maintain meaningless relationships with people. The loss of your friendship group makes you get involved with people who do not have your best interests at heart but you struggle to see that. Keep faith because you will and forgive yourself for not seeing it sooner. 

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30 Before 30

Person reading a book

After turning 25 this year I’m realising just how quick the years are going by. If you read my last post regarding my life you’ll know that I’ve been feeling a little lost and that I really want to start enjoying each day again and finding things I love. With 5 years in hand before I turn 30 I’ve started to think about things I’d like to achieve before I move into my third decade. So, I decided to knock up a 30 before 30 to help me move out of my comfort zone and fall in love with my life again.

1 | Get my TEFL qualification. I want to start helping some people in my community.

2 | Buy a house. This is a big one but I hope to get a foot on the property ladder and have a home that is my own.

3 | Become fluent in a foreign language. I dabble in languages but would love to become fluent and add a third to my list.

4 | Skydive. Anywhere. Anytime. Lets do this!

5 | Visit 10 new places. I have such a bad case of wanderlust. I have a few ideas of the places I would like to visit over the next couple of years but we will see what happens.

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Life & Times #1 – What Is Life?

Girl smiling in a field on a windy day

I wanted to write honestly and openly about how I’m feeling at the moment. Although blogging seems to be composed of well thought out posts that are structure to hit SEO targets and goals, I originally set this up as a place to share my life – something I haven’t done very much of.

Most of you will know that I am a PhD student in a School of Medicine meaning that a lot of my time has been dedicated to the lab and less so on hobbies. I am fast coming to the end of my time as a student (my submission date is the end of April, with some flexibility) and I can’t help but wonder what is life?

I am grateful for the offer of a scholarship and for being given the opportunity as soon as I finished my BSc but I’m left asking what more is there to life. More often than not now I get caught in a spiral of anxiety and imposter syndrome surrounding my PhD, career and future prospects. When I stop and look at some of my classmates and see them with houses and families, I feel like that is what I should be aiming for next but is it really what I want? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. There’s forever the massive pressure from a lot of people on the aspects of settling down but I’m not sure I want to run with that crowd right now. I feel like those classmates knew it was something they wanted and committed to it – I’m not ready for that commitment

Girl in a field on a windy day with her back to the camera. She is looking over her shoulder, back towards the camera.

Somewhere along the way in the last 4 years I lost myself. I’m not fully sure of who I am anymore or what I enjoy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not on about the career path I’ve chosen, I mean all the other bits that make a person tick. I dread ice breaker style questions that are meant to allow you to get to know someone because I never know what to say. It scares me that I no longer feel like myself.

At the moment my deadline fills me with dread for two reasons; 1) Someone will have to read my thesis and ask me to defend it and 2) what do I do with myself after I’ve submitted? I will suddenly have free time and I have no idea how I will fill it and although I laugh and joke with friends and family about sleeping days away and the return of my appetite I’m terrified that I have essentially forgotten how to live.

Girl in a field on a windy day. She is seen, unfocused, through tall blades of green and yellow grass.

This might seem like a really dramatic post but as it stands this is exactly how I feel. I want to make a commitment to myself to rediscover my hobbies when I have finally submitted and to hopefully feel like myself again – maybe even improve on my old self by trying new things. Until then I’ll attempt small changes (like easing back into blogging) in hopes that the low-level anxiety regarding my identity can be subdued.

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