A favourite sentence starter of my boss’s is “If you get hit by a bus tomorrow…”.
To be clear and so that you don’t think he’s a sadist (debatable); the phrase is one he uses as a precursor to discuss the benefits of sharing skills and knowledge amongst the team. A valid point, but hearing someone predict your injury/death with quite so much regularity becomes a source of great amusement after a while, and naturally now causes a ripple of laughter from our entire team every time its used.
Now that I’ve written it, I’m not sure that it’s translating with as much hilarity as we think it has. Perhaps you have to be there, or know him. Perhaps this isn’t as good a segway as I was hoping, but we’ll plough on anyway.
It’s never really occurred to me to seriously consider the phrase (neither am I seriously considering it now – so if I do in fact get hit by a bus, it will all be a little awkward), but there is something there in the idea that anything could happen at any time.
And the reason I raise it is because this year I got myself into a bit of a life rut, and during the process of getting out of it I realised a few things in very quick succession.
Firstly, that life can in fact change in a moment, so actually, I could do with getting on with the things I like to loudly proclaim that I want to do but never actually do.
Secondly, and seemingly at odds with the first thing, that life continues regardless, and there is time. I don’t need to panic, feel pressured to tick certain societal boxes, fear the process of getting older or avoid any roads that buses frequent. I still have bills to pay and day to day things to do.
And thirdly, swinging back around again (are you dizzy yet?): that even so, I do need a bit of an attitudinal shift to start making sure I’m really living rather than coasting.
In summary, it all got a bit too close to the realm of those pseudo-inspirational quotes that you see as Instagram captions or printed on ugly canvases, but suffice to say I’ve had a bit of a kick up the arse from my own mind.
I am incredibly prone to ‘one day’ syndrome. Everything – from improving a certain skill to visiting Mount Doom (to cleaning the fridge, probably) – is something I will do ‘one day’, an indeterminate amount of time away and seemingly in a distant land. And I do actually believe that these things will happen, but it’s only recently truly hit home that I’ll need to take a bit of ownership for that to be the case.
Funnily enough, while I might be completely sure that I’ll trek the Inca trail ‘one day’, it’s unlikely – shocker – that I’ll just awake one day and find myself in Peru wearing hiking gear and ready to get going. It will involve me saving, booking flights and time off work, preparing and organising, before we get to that stage in proceedings.
What I’ve been doing isn’t waiting for the optimum time, as I sometimes like to kid myself that it is – it’s holding back. It’s putting things off, it’s getting complacent, and it’s not helping me to feel like I’m making the most of life, time, and not having been hit by a bus (lol). It turns out that somehow in the past couple of years I’ve become a little bit shit at making things happen; I’ll have brief dalliances with the idea of chasing dreams, turning everything around in some massive motivational surge that lasts three days, but ultimately nothing comes of it.
Which is why I think my attitude towards what I want has to adapt. I want to be more willing to give things a go and make them happen, acknowledging what I want as something I have at least partial agency over, rather than something I’m just waiting to occur of it’s own accord. I want to be less scared to fail and more likely to take a leap of faith. And I want to live in and enjoy my day to day while I actively take steps towards my ‘one day’s.
It would be really, really frustrating to look back in years and years and feel like life has somehow slipped through my fingers while I was busy eating crisps, worrying about my Instagram and assuming the stuff I wanted was going to come to me.
And to put a couple of things out into the world, here are some of my ‘one day’ aspirations, both big and small, distant and mundane:
To read Anna Karenina. To visit the Galapagos. To do the Three Peaks challenge. To get a new job. To have a wardrobe containing only things I feel wonderful in. To write a book, even if I’m the only person to ever read it. To camp at a festival – I’ve only ever been on a day ticket before (hence the pairing of these photos that seemed to be of a festival-esque look with this particular post, loose connection though it may be). To learn to be happy with what I have. To get by on a trip to France using only French. To continue avoiding bus related road traffic accidents, so that these things can happen.
What I’m wearing
Tee – Jade Dare | Skirt – C/O Miss Selfridge | Rucksack – C/O Mi Pac | Shoes – Converse | Earrings – New Look
Photography: Robert Poor