Have you ever found that it’s usually when you need something or want to remember something is when you can’t find it, it just doesn’t come to mind? For example, if someone asked you for a list of shows that feature a particular actress that’s when your mind just goes blank. But if you were in casual conversation, your mind will have no issues bringing up the relevant information.
Recently, I’ve been put in a situation where I’ve had to reflect and provide life experiences that I’ve acquired thus far. And when I find myself in these situations, my mind just goes blank. All the things I’ve ever done, all the things I’ve ever achieved, I forget. I, also, fall into the trap of dismissing certain experiences, like they’re not worthy enough to be called upon like they’re not legit. But at the end of the day, every s i n g l e experience I’ve had and continue to have has made me and is making me the person that I am today, the person that I will be tomorrow. So, no experience is ever too big or too small. I’ve learnt that you can acquire skills in places you may never think of.
I recently had a conversation with a lady who did a fine art and textiles course at university. She told me how independent the students had to be and how they had to source things out for themselves, develop their own ideas, make sure they would create their final work on time with practically no tutor for guidance or assistance. She said those skills that she learnt are transferrable. Those skills can help her out in various other jobs and roles today. But one thing we both concluded on is that if you don’t know that you’ve learnt a skill that could be used somewhere else or in a different manner, it’s just as good as not learning the skill.
I’ve found that a majority of the learning that we do today, is about being able to identify the value of the skills you’ve acquired and being able to apply them in other experiences, particularly unfamiliar ones.
In today’s world, you can’t apply for anything without having the relevant experience. It’s part of the reason why a lot of students in college/sixth form spend time hunting for volunteering opportunities and the like. It’s because we know that this is what universities are looking for. And to be honest, that’s always irked me. I like to do something because I want to do it, not because someone is telling me to and not because someone has said that’s what they’re looking for.
In a recent conversation I had with my mother, I was saying to her that I’m not going to wait for my children to get into secondary school before they start to live their lives before they start to gain life experiences. As soon as they can walk, as soon as they can talk, they should start to live too. If they want to support a charity, if they want to dance or sing, if they want to start up their own business, if they want to gain experience in a particular field, or if they want to learn about prosthetics, I will let them know that they can. That, truly, age is nothing but a number.
One thing, I feel makes the difference in this kind of approach is that it shows that this human actually wants to do this thing, actually has a passion for this cause and isn’t doing it so that their UCAS or CV can look pretty.
And you know what? I’ve realised in this life there is essentially three things: school, work, death. And as I had this realisation I understood what it meant to live your life to the fullest. I understood what all those phrases were about. I understood why people are like it’s okay if you cannot provide your education in forms of certificates. I understood why people ditch their jobs and spend their life travelling. People are living 9 to 5s in jobs they don’t like, looking forward to weekends and dreading Mondays and counting down until the next Bank Holiday. But if you live a life that you love, if you’ve found a career that can also be labelled as your passion then you don’t have those dreads, you don’t have those fears and you don’t have that kind of mundane lifestyle a lot of people are living today.
And you also know what? You don’t have to wait until your education is all over before you start creating a lifestyle that you enjoy. There was something I was watching on TV, and this guy said “I don’t want to just survive, I want to live” and it dawned on me then and there that those are two different things. Those are two parallel lines.
Essentially, what I’m saying is
- live your life to the fullest
- don’t want until a specific age or time before you do the above
- and garner as much life experiences in all different shapes and sizes as you can and not because you have to but because you want to.
And remember, tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone.