This will be a rolling series of pages that document my progress to my year out.
This isn’t easy for me to write; it feels too amorphous at the moment, but the list below is something like to what’s in my head (in rough order of yearning-ness)… Through some investigation and experimentation over the next 12 months, I’ll whittle it down to 1 or 2 things…
I’ve re calibrated my thinking around my gap year as a kind of ‘life re-training’ (for later ‘lives’). Still, the project can be an end in itself. It doesn’t have to look like work in any conventional sense, as long as it aligns with my values. After all, you never know where it might lead, right?
1. Write a book – probably non-fiction
2. Find my cause (and support it)
3. Increase my fitness – perhaps do a yoga course?
4. Work on my painting – my ultimate creative pursuit
5. Do some full-time/serious studying – Perhaps global health?
There are some creative combinations to be had too. For now, I’ll say, I’m yearning for creative freedom, and for something fresh and substantial to bite my teeth into! I yearn to make a true contribution to society; to help those who suffer most. This might all sound a bit ‘worthy’ if you’re not this way inclined, but this is what I am motivated by. I also have a heavy intellectual leaning as I like to be stimulated by ideas, which is what I’ll miss most when I leave my work.
It’s true that I can do a lot of these things in my spare time if I really wanted them, but the truth is that I simply haven’t, at least not in its ‘full’ form, and it’s not going to change given that I’m working full-time and am a parent! I’ve dabbled in some/many over the years. None of them have got off the ground, due to finite headspace and self-discipline.
The important thing is that I’ve not plucked any of these ideas out of ‘thin air’ based on some imagined, romanticised version of myself who meets up with fellow artists, writers and yoga teachers for daytime coffee. Or at least that’s what I think! However, that IS tantalising, haha. Am I kidding myself? Only time will tell…
So, the next 12 months will involve me investigating whether these things I want to do are indeed for me. I’ll also be thinking hard about what ‘strings I can add to my bow’ re re-skilling for Life 1.3, making use of the resources open to me in my current workplace.
Two other points about my year off. I definitely need to do more exercise; let’s call it more physical movement. Whether I incorporate into a formal goal, I don’t know. Secondly, our toddler will also start school next year and how this’ll fit in with my new lifestyle will also be a consideration. Will I end up doing the school pick-up everyday since I’m ‘not working’?
Let’s focus first on the first idea on my list, writing.