So recently, I have found myself in a really good place. I've got a really solid mindset, and I'm optimistic for the year ahead.
However, I know that a lot of my friends aren't necessarily in the same boat as I am right now, and they feel like everything is going wrong. Maybe everything is going wrong, but as Winston Churchill once said, and as too many people quote waaayyy too often- "If you're going through hell, keep going."
As someone who has had their fair share of crappiness in the last year or so; I think that's fair to say. Especially, now I'm looking at things with the wondrous gift of hindsight.Hindsight is the best thing, I swear, because now, a lot of the things that seemed so awful at the time, make a lot of sense. As I've reflected more on the things that I let get me down, and all the things that plunged me into an existential crisis where I screamed, "What the hell am I meant to do next?", I have realised that everything has happened exactly as it needed to.
I believe this is down to God; Alex would say it's down to Fate; others may say that it's coincidence or chance or luck or aliens- but one thing is for sure: everything happens for a reason.
Instead, I'm talking more so about when things don't go the way we planned; there always seems to be a rhyme and a reason for that.
Since about last September, the one thing I have been praying for more than anything else has been clarity. Clarity for where my life is going, for what I should be doing, who I should be living my life with- just some sort of signal that I'm on the right track, you know? And frustratingly, I didn't seem to be getting anything. However, as I've been reflecting in the last week or so; I have found it- everything has become so abundantly clear. Not necessarily the what I should do with my life, but I have complete peace to just go with the flow, because as I look back, I see how things have unfolded and I see that I've been exactly where I need to be.
Yes, but what do you mean by that, Rehana?
"I'm getting to that, don't worry! I'll give you examples."
Well the main point to explain myself would have to be uni. As you all know, I didn't get into my university of choice, and since I put my local university as my insurance, it felt like I was stuck at home. Admittedly, growing up I had always said that I wanted to stay at home for uni, but when it actually got to the UCAS process, I was struggling with depression. That depression was making me feel trapped and suffocated, and I wanted nothing more than to escape the familiarities and idiosyncrasies of the life I've always known, and get a new fresh start somewhere else, anywhere but Southampton. Somewhere far away, where I can be with completely new people who didn't have expectations of me; somewhere where I had no obligations. However- being at Southampton University has been something of a blessing. Actually; that's an understatement= it's been an abundance of blessings.
Looking back on it now, I can see why I was meant to be here in Southampton. I fully and firmly believe that the reason God kept me in Southampton was to meet the friends that I have met. I'm really strong in my faith and in myself, and I think a lot of that is due to the fact that for the first time in my life, I have friends that are also Christian. Not to say that being friends with people from other religions/ with no religion is wrong, because I don't think that whatsoever; but it's just given me an opportunity to be more open about that side of my life and have people understand what I mean on a personal level. Also, whenever any of us have any problems going on, we can just hit the others up and ask for prayer, which is pretty neat.
I also think that the other reason I was kept at home is because I am very much a home girl. I'm very close and attached to my family, and if I had moved away, I know that I would have found the homesickness unbearable at times. It's nice being here- because I do still very much have my own life which is very separate from the one I was living before uni, one with a lot more freedom and independence- I still can go back to my family and friends from home at the end of the day, and rest in that comfortable environment. Also- one of the things I was looking forward to about studying in Exeter, was to build a closer relationship with my eldest cousin. He's actually ended up moving to Southampton since then.... so that turned out alright I think.
The other main thing that didn't go my way and kind of fuelled my existential crisis, was the whole being rejected by the love of my life thing. Lol- sorry for being such a drama queen- he's not actually the love of my life. He's the kinda, sorta, (maybe) love of my last 2 1/2 months... Anyway, I know I said that I wasn't going to talk about him for a while, but he's back to being mentioned. (I managed 3 blogs without him coming up! That's pretty impressive haha.) The difference is, this time I'm not sad about it or complaining or just perpetuating the 'woe is me' aura- because I'm in a really good place about this too. As aforementioned- Hindsight is a glorious thing, my friends.
The main thing I've realised, and the thing that has finally given me the peace that I need about this, is this: Just because we were meant to meet each other, it doesn't mean we were meant to be together. I wasn't meant to be in Southampton, and then I fall for a guy who also wasn't meant to be in Southampton at the moment, someone who seems to tick every one of the main boxes that were kept at the back of my mind in terms of 'my ideal partner'. So yeah, I fall for this guy, who makes me ridiculously happy, and then he doesn't want to be with me- and I was like... no, he's got this wrong, he'll change his mind because we were meant to be together because the chances of us ending up in the same place right now were just too slim. That's not the case. Don't get me wrong- I am still completely 100% certain that him and I are meant to be in each other's lives right now; it's just that I finally understand that it doesn't need to be romantically. In fact, I'm quite excited to find out the reason why we were meant to be friends.
The other element of this situation that I've been reflecting on was the factor of when I told him about my feelings. Before I told him, I had a game plan in place, I was going to tell him just before Christmas, then over the holidays where life would get in the way and I wouldn't see him, we could think over whether it was a good idea or not. I ended up telling him in mid- November. That wasn't the game plan at all. Especially when you consider the fact that I had only actually had intense romantic feelings for him for about a fortnight, so yeah, it seemed way too early. In the weeks that followed my confession, I kept thinking about that fact- damn it, Han- you told him way too soon. Now, with hindsight, I know that my decision to tell him when I did was the right one. The night I told him- okay, okay- the night I text him about my feelings, I had one of my best friends telling me the whole evening that it wasn't the right time. However, I felt that I needed to tell him that night- in fact, I felt what I'm sure was a God-given conviction to tell him.
I now know the reasons for that, and there's actually a few. As a 3rd person approached me today asking for advice on a similar situation, I realise that I've actually been able to help other people with their own romantic quests, because I was brave for once and 'made a move' on the person I liked. So reason 1 for having told him then is because now I'm able to offer support and be there as help for my friends who are going through similar things. Reason 2- if I had waited until when I had originally planned to tell him, I would have really negatively impacted one of my closest friendships. I'm not going in to details because it's not fair on that other person for me to, but know that I am only able to be as close as i am to this person because I put my heart on the line back in November. Reason 3- he bloody knew anyway! Somehow, although the boy is a complete wasteman and seems to be oblivious to everything else, he thought that my feelings for him were blatantly obvious. So it raises the question, would it have been more awkward if I had just stayed silent, given the fact that he knew how I felt anyway? Would our friendship dynamic differ, because he felt awkward? I know that he really appreciated me telling him, because he has told me and other people (oh how I love having inside sources) that he appreciated it, so if I hadn't- would he have come to resent me?
Anyway, those are all pointless facts about my life that probably aren't that interesting to you. The point of my little anecdotes is this, though- when it feels like everything is deviating from the plan you had for your life- there is probably a reason. That reason may become clear to you immediately, or after a few months (like it did for me), or maybe that clarity will come years from now on your deathbed. However, you've just got to trust that what you are doing is right, because i'm sure it will eventually turn out that way.
In the midst of these things, as they are happening, you can't really focus on anything apart from the way it is impacting you in that moment. Maybe it's a good idea to try and look ahead? Or maybe you just need to look back more often. As you reflecting and see each thing in the past that has turned out okay, maybe you can find a newfound, stronger confidence in the hope for tomorrow going somewhat better.
Roll with the waves and see where they take you.