Posted in Opinions

COLUMN | TIM’S BIT: I’m back from my exchange — now where is my life headed?

It can be difficult returning to the personal path you had before you left it

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We all walk separate paths. Sometimes those paths meet up with other people and you travel together; sometimes you travel on your own; sometimes you see people for a short time; and sometimes you lose your way.

Ever since I got back from exchange in Australia, I have been trying to find the path I was on before I left. I can’t find it, at least not yet. I know I will. I am a stubborn person and quite strong-willed when I want to be. Lately though, I have not wanted to be strong. I’ve not wanted to be anything, and that’s not great.

It’s a strange thing to come back to your home after being away for a long time. When you’re gone for months at a time, you change independently from the people who you were around before you left. You miss birthdays, breakups, couplings, and graduations. You make new friends, you see new places, you get back and want to share those experiences with people around you.

You just don’t always have the words to articulate what it meant to swim under a waterfall, or hike to a mountaintop and see the vastness of a country in front of you. To make friendships becomes something more, like being considered family by people who are on the same path as you.

You try, you meet, you smile, and tell the stories. Your friends to whom you’ve returned laugh and smile as they see the joy you express while you do your best to share the experiences with them. Except you’ve changed, and so have your friends. You see, as you have followed your path while away, they followed their path without you.

Since I got back I have been struggling to find my path here again. I have been doing my best to push through the brambles and undergrowth, yet they seem to be thicker this time. I am seeing fragments of it as I pick up my old passions. I’m slowly getting back into gaming and old projects that I had to shelve while I was away, yet picking them up this time feels different — not bad, just different.

I want to make it clear: I’m not depressed and I’m not sad — I’m just confused. I don’t really know what to do and I can’t seem to jumpstart my ambitions again. I have them, they just feel like they are asleep. Maybe it’s time to ring the alarm clock.

My mum used to tell me, when you are lost in life and don’t know where to go, pick a direction and follow it to its end. On the way, you’ll find other paths that may extend the journey. When you get to the end and you need more, it’s satisfying to know that you’ve at least accomplished that much. So now, simply keep going.

That is what I plan on doing: I am going to stop trying to find my old path and start carving a new one. The brambles in the way are only there for a short time and simply going in circles will only get me tangled, until I pick a direction and just go. Before I know it I will be making my own path again.
Who knows — maybe I will find something that will extend the journey that I can’t think of, sitting in my apartment waiting for life to happen like it used to.

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