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Journal: Living vs. Existing

This is a fairly old post (with the revamped recycled photo to prove it) but I think its time has come, so feel free to avert your eyes while I over-share for a little bit.

There are few things worse than realizing you've merely been existing all your life. Because once that zest for life has been planted, it breeds questions - who are you; why are you here; what can you do - questions that you can't answer because you haven't done anything to help yourself find the answers. I do not know how it happened but I managed to spend nineteen years drifting through life with no sense of purpose at all.

With a wasted past behind me, I now worry plenty about the 'now' and its meaner, uglier sister, the 'future.' I worry about the things I'm not doing, the things I don't even know about, the things I haven't tried, places I haven't visited, the people I haven't met... I wonder if I'll get a job after university, if it'll be the right one, if I've even picked the right course, the right discipline, the right time to go into higher education...

I'm going to have to specialize my degree soon. But how am I supposed to decide which path I want to go down so early? I haven't tried them all! What if I go down the consumer electronics route and then decide I want to work in robotics or car manufacture or avionics?

I need to apply for industrial placements this year - but how am I supposed to convince a recruiter to hire me when I don't know what the hell I want to do, whether the company is right for me, whether the field is right for me?

And how on earth do I explain that, while I'm not even remotely good at any of it, I spend nearly every spare moment I have between classes and coursework working on my silly creative hobbies that, like this blog, ultimately play no role in my future? Or maybe they could? I don't know... I just wish it didn't seem so pointless.

I mean, I really like engineering. I like making things and understanding how they works and finding ways to make them better... I love Mathematics and science and actually seeing how they can be applied to make innovative solutions. But surely, I'm allowed to like other things too? I don't particularly regret my choice, but I really don't feel like I belong here either. Everyone else seems really into just doing engineering, while I'm this flaky restless spirit with extra-curriculars she doesn't tell anyone about lest they too discover she doesn't deserve to be here.

But I can't just drop them and go back to just doing the school thing. Running this blog has made me increasingly restless when I was previously satisfied with just being a dreamer. There is no going back; the boredom will kill me.

Now I know I need to live more, I can't not try.

I've mentioned just a few of the groups and societies I've joined already and the random things I've been doing lately, like being a gondola. I sign up to whatever I can, just to give something new a go or meet new people. I've started doing the things I used to love to do too, the things that kept me sane during those unbearable hours without electricity in Nigeria - hence the updated About page. I'm even doing the things I once thought I'd be so ridiculously bad at that I never even bothered to try - hence these trips to Liverpool, for example. I'm hoping I get travel somewhere outside the UK soon as well...

I'm doing quite a lot to be fair, and I'm worried about how thin I'm spreading myself. I might not be 100% sure about it, but I still want to get a first-class degree at the end of the day.

However, I've got a lot of passion to give and a lot of lost years to make up for - and little time to do it as well. While I can guise my existential uncertainty with the 'experimental' university student stereotype now, what about after I graduate?

Will I be able to live then?

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Photo by me. See the disclaimer for my image use policy.

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