In my less confident moments, I am convinced that I am alone in my confusion. Sometimes I look at the people around me and they all seem to have their shit together, or at least they're progressing somehow. Sometimes I think I've reached a stand still. My friends are either studying at uni or are months into jobs; they're all developing in some way and achieving things, whereas I look at myself and I wonder what I've done with all of this time since graduation. I spend my days looking for a job but having no idea what role I want to do. I wonder whether I should just sacrifice my desire to do something interesting and just do something that will actually mean I have an income; or whether to keep holding out because that interesting job that pays and doesn't expect years of experience and is also able to be reached by public transport is right around the corner and I'll miss it if I cave now. I'm so used to having goals and deadlines that it's difficult adjusting to this life where everything's up in the air. I miss living with my friends and seeing them every day, I miss spending my time learning about things that interest me, I miss filling my spare time with volunteering, I miss the life that I had built up.
And then sometimes I actually take a moment to reality check myself and I realise that all of this inferiority and worry I feel is completely unfounded. I might miss living with my friends, but I definitely don't miss all of the stress and drama that has happened over the last two years. It's reasonable to miss learning new, interesting things, but then I remember that I don't have essay deadlines and exams looming, and that just because I'm not in education doesn't mean I can't teach myself new things. It's easy to miss the life I built up because my last term of university was genuinely lovely, exams and all. But really when I think about it, this time last year was shit. I had a prolonged 6 month crisis about every single aspect of my life and I was quite frankly fucking miserable. It took all the strength I had not to completely fall apart last Christmas. So in contrast to that, what am I worrying about now? So I don't know what job I'm looking for? Fuck it! I can do anything right now. The future is opening up before me and I have no idea what to expect but that's fantastic! So I'll apply to anything that sounds interesting and if I don't get it that's fine, I don't lose anything from that experience. I'll teach myself new skills (knitting!) and I'll fill my spare time with interesting books and shows that I'll consume by candlelight just because I think it's prettier. And if I miss my friends then I'll send them unabashedly soppy messages telling them how much I love and miss them, and I'll look at old photographs and laugh at old memories and make plans so that I can get some new ones as well. If I feel lonely being home alone then I'll play my music at top volume and dance around the house singing the words at the top of my lungs because no one can tell me to shut up. I'm going to value and love myself because I'm fucking awesome. And just because I don't know what direction I'm going in, it doesn't mean that I've turned stagnant. Sometimes it's nice to stop and take in the view, and other times I might be so lost in a day dream that I don't realise I'm going somewhere until I've already arrived.
I am learning to take a deep breath, ground myself, whisper "fuck it", and go do the thing that I don't think I'm good enough to do. And hey, I'm not going to be successful every time I do this. Sometimes I'm going to make an idiot out of myself. But I'm super clumsy so I do this a lot anyway, so it's not as if I don't have practise. I am always way more capable than I think I am and I need to remember to trust myself more. So this is just a note from me to Future Sophie. It doesn't matter if you don't know what you're doing. Nobody else does either. Make it up as you go along, pretend like you know exactly what you're doing, and if anyone questions you just yell "HOW DARE YOU" and swan past them with confidence. We've got this.