Where Do We Go From Here?

This is the name of a song from Buffy. It's also a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. Not necessarily always a self-imposed train of thought, more often than not prompted by the not-so-gentle line of questioning about my plans for the future taken by various friends and relatives.

Recently my life has come to a standstill of sorts. Having given up my job for reasons we won't go into right now I am, for the first time in about a decade, technically unemployed. I spend my days obsessively cleaning, cooking and of course checking Facebook. Scintillating stuff really. This leaves me with a lot of time to think. And think. And think some more. This leads to another wonderful habit of mine: over-analysing.

The truth is, I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.

Not. A. Clue.

And here comes the panic.

So before I allow myself to wallow in despair over the uncertainty of my future I feel I must reflect upon the events that brought me to this turning point in my life.

Let's keep things brief, shall we? I went to college. I got a part-time job. After I graduated the part-time job became a full-time job. I got a promotion. Before I knew it I had a career. I've learned to dislike this word "career". Anyway whether I liked it or not, stage one of my life was complete. Or so it seemed. The Powers That Be had other ideas. I fell ill. Pretty seriously ill, depending on who you ask. Cue ambulance ride, short hospital stay and countless visits to my GP.

Fast-forward several months, wonderful friends and a broken heart (long story) later and by now I was able to leave the house all by my lonesome again. I decided to fill my free time with a little course. Just something to get the old brain working again (assuming I still had one) and get me out of the house, on doctor's orders. Probably the best decision I've made all year. I conquered my fear of public speaking. I met some truly amazing people that challenged my preconceptions about the world and everyone in it. I discovered a passion for something which, unbeknownst to me at the time, would eventually lead to a change in career. I picked my self-esteem up off the ground and I decided that maybe there was a place for me in the big, bad world after all.

Add to this the fact that I bought a car and learned to drive (still haven't got my full licence but I have applied for my test). Me, the girl who used to get so nervous at the very thought of sitting behind the wheel that I would be physically sick before a driving lesson. Unbelievable.

I am also now the proud owner of two beautiful cats.

And, perhaps my greatest achievement of the year so far, I learned that when it comes to matters of the heart, it pays to take risks. I used to reject any man that came near me, sometimes before the poor guy had even opened his mouth. I was convinced that I didn't need a man in my life (still somewhat true) and I certainly didn't want one (maybe now not as true). Honestly, I think I was just afraid of getting hurt. Of putting myself out there and making a fool of myself. Well when you've been through as much as I have this past year, being turned down by a guy, no matter how pretty he may be, kinda pales in comparison.

And for the record, there are opportunities in life worth making a fool of yourself over. These are the precious moments you have just seconds to seize or else you'll spend the rest of your life in regret and wondering, What if? I'm not saying you'll always get your prince and your fairytale ending but you'll sure as hell make some memories. Because sometimes, just sometimes, that guy, the one you thought was miles out of your league? The one who would never in a million years go for a girl like you? It turns out he liked you from the moment you walked into the room and can even remember the very first words you said.

It's been a strange year.