Today I rediscovered my absolute appreciation for Bon Iver. I was driving home this evening and it was that time of the evening where it's almost definitely pitch black but it's not quite there yet. The sky isn't dark enough to need to use the full beam on the car but it's dark enough to need the lights on and it;s dark enough to see the moon. The sky is a deep blue colour. The car was warm, my head full of thoughts, but a comfortable feeling rather than it being too much, and I was listening to a selection of Bon Iver songs and the journey just kind of happened. I got from A to B and it was a nice journey helped along by the most beautiful music.
I spent the majority of the day with my sister, accompanying her to an open day at my University and enjoying lunch together. This open day felt like just another day at Uni for me - I study there and I work there afterall. I've gotten to know the place and some of the people fairly well, but even so, things have changed. After a three year degree, this is currently my fourth year at this University. After my fifth year I'll be a qualified therapist, after my sixth year (if I choose to do it) I'll have my MA, and then my fate is left within the realms of the universe... or in my very own hands. Perhaps a combination of the two. I suspect I might do a PhD at some point in my academic and professional life when the time is right. I found myself (at the open day) surrounded by young people with such great hopes and plans... such rigid ideas of the future, and alongside that, so much external and internal pressure to make those goals happen. Because once we reach that all important goal we'll be happy, right? We can stop there? Not really the reality! Just months ago I achieved a First class honours degree, but it's already faded into insignificance because I'm focussed on the next bigger and better thing.
It was particularly evident today, being around 17/18 year olds applying for University and taking their A Level exams that outside of all that immediate pressure is an additional voice putting pressure on these poor people to make their life count, to be great and wonderful, to be all that they are told they must be. Of course, we all aspire to be great. I think it's a natural part of human nature - to strive towards positive growth. But it feels like it does no harm every once in a while to step back and re-assess things - keep the heart and mind open to change and progress. Life is the process of living, not in reaching the end.