I started a blog with the intent of using writing to find a sense of purpose and direction–or rather, to hang on to my academic identity–while taking a break from formal study. That obviously did not go as planned. I realized, as my post-undergrad gap year progressed, that academic aspects of my life were not what needed attention. Literary commentary is a task I enjoy, but for now, there was more important work at hand: examining my personal values and desires outside of intellectualism.
Now, writing can have just as much of a role in personal discovery as in professional development, but I’ve never been particularly comfortable doing personal writing for public consumption. So instead of writing more blog posts, I journaled. In the months since graduation, I’ve filled hundreds of pages with the musings and ramblings that I suddenly have time for. And in so doing, I’ve learned things about myself and what I want, things that I hope to share here. This blog is taking a personal turn.
Of course, all that introspection has its downsides. I have at times dissected my emotions to the point where they didn’t feel real anymore, or worked myself into an unwarranted frenzy of anxiety. I’ve read obsessively on aspects of my identity that I’m trying to figure out. But this has all been necessary work.
I told myself when this “year off” began that I would use the time to learn to be alone again. To be not only separated from my friends, but without the constant hum of busyness that allows me to avoid my own thoughts while in school. I believe I am learning to live with myself, in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I know much more about what I want from work, from relationships, and from my daily life. I’m by no means perfectly happy, and I’ve wasted plenty of time, but each day I’m making progress in figuring out how to live my life–and how to write about it.