Plans And Adventures

I have trouble with adventure.

For many years now I have strugggled with the idea of being spontaneous. I think it, along with many of my other issues links back to being bullied and the roots of my social anxiety. It is one of the reasons I hate airports, although I travel on my own frequently now and have travelled to Canada and back on my own I still struggle being in those situations just as when I began travelling to and from university by train I had to have a plan set out in my head of when and where I would be. All my life I have had plans and very firm ideas of what I want to do and how I’m going to get there. I have for many years lived my life by lists.

But as I was coming back from Glasgow today it occurred to be that many of my once firm plans have never come to fruition.

I had planned for many years to become a costume designer. I remember being in 3rd or 4th year in high school and attending the degree shows at the Edinburgh College of Art. Sitting on the lawns having lunch I instinctively knew that this was where I belonged. This was my future. So I made a plan: do my higher and advanced higher art; finish 6th year and head to ECA to study Performance Costume. That was to be my life for the next 5 years.

But then by the end of 5th year things had changed. I was fed up with school; I was itching for something new and challenging and by then I had begun to have doubts about ECA. I began looking at other universities, other possibilities. Then my best and favourite teacher, my art teacher in fact, left just as I was heading into my final year. This was the change point. I decided that summer tht I would leave school early, and as my parents gave me two options: Go to college or get a full-time job, I chose education, more learning.

I started Telford College in 2005 studying Theatre Costume Interpretation. This changed my life. Alot of the negative effects my experiances at school had had on me began to heal and change. My confidence grew and I finally knew that this was my path in life ( I know how ridiculously cheesy that sounds but it was true).

By Christmas of 1st year I had ideas in my head of working on Doctor Who, of leaving college and going into the industry straightaway.

But again, things changed. By Christmas of 2nd year I had found a course in Cardiff in Theatre Design I had always struggled with picking one thing I loved doing above everything else but this course seemed to be offering me it all. It was decided, even before I had visited the university the following February: I would go to university in Cardiff, but first I would take a year to do my portfolio. That was to be the next 4 years of my life.

Then Cardiff rejected me. Then I rejected (it was mutual rejection) my second choice of Rose Bruford in Kent. Then my third and final random choice rejected me. But I wasn’t worried. I had my lists and I had a plan, I would spend the next year working on my portfolio to make it better, work in the industry a bit, gain some experiance and try for Cardiff the following year.

But I realised I couldn’t wait another year before starting university. So I found Aberystwyth. I found that I could do Theatre Design and English Literature as a joint degree. I was sold. So new plan: head for Wales and get a joint degree in things I love to do.

2 and a half years later the plan has once again changed. I’m in the middle of my final year doing Film and Television Studies.

I guess my constant is that I still want to be costume designer but I also want to be so much more aswell.

What I am attempting to say in a long-winded way is that I spent years with solid plans, with firm ideas of where my life was headed. But now I’m standing at a crossroads (pardon the cheesy cliche) and I don’t know what my plans are. I know vaguely where I want to go in terms of my career but I’m clueless on the rest. At one point it scared me. I have lots of friends graduating with me, many of whom have decided their plans for the next few years, possibly for their entire careers. But I, for once don’t have a plan. I can’t formulate a list.

When I travel to and from university on the train now, I am very often stress free. I know where I’m going and I know how to handle the problems that may arise. I can handle the journey like an adventure.

And finally, FINALLY I am beginning to see the rest of my life as an adventure, not a plan, not set in stone with lists and rules I must follow. I have a short term plan: open an Etsy shop and go to Canada to see my best friends. But aside from that I have no idea. I’m headed for an adventure and finally I’m excited 🙂

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