To a plan-less future 

For a while we stumbled around the inevitability of cancelled events, first it was lectures and parties and minor undertakings of everyday life. Then it was graduation,the degree show, and suddenly everything crumbled, piece by piece to leave behind a future with nothing, not a single plan to give us hope or opportunity to look forward to. The feeling of impending doom escalated suddenly and quickly, warnings became rules, now we find ourselves, beginning to juggle with the hope that some events could be rescheduled before the end of the year. What happens to our minds when our futures have nothing, when we cannot look to the plans and hopes we would have had. When dates roll around and we remember what they would have been, thinking about the potential they could have held for us.Birthdays pass as if it were merely another day, and the further we extend from what would have been we forget how life used to be. How our days were once full of tasks and to dos and people to see and events to attend. Now we stand back,far from our crowded memories to recollect a time in which our futures were rich with learning and conversation, fun and frivolous activities. Those unexpected conversations and thinking time sat in traffic jams or spontaneous fun that springs from the day without expectation yet provides some of the best memories of that year. We have been stripped from everything we have worked for, and even when it does come around, it will be tainted by the knowledge that this is not how it what supposed to be. Referring to a future that is more uncertain than could possibly have been fathomed before, presents us with the need to hold on to something of a memory of how life was, and in this in-between period of time that is as confused as we are, we must grasp with both hands the hope that we will have a planned future again. This will not be soon, but it will be and that is what we must retain.

Our everyday is tainted by wishes and hopes, for the first hug from a friend, visit to a family member, to the first cheers of glasses. To trips to cafes and restaurants and cinemas, to galleries and cities to experiences we have supressed our want of, we navigate life in a new way, towards an end that none of us know when it will come. Therefore, we find ourselves consumed with each day at a time, there is no way of knowing that if next week or next month, will relieve us from the same repeating routine. Each turn of twenty-four hours chips away at our hope,while we simultaneously find ourselves inevitably closer to the end than we were yesterday. The need to plan refers to a very human need, to have events to look forward to that help ease the pain of bad days, to have special days full of memories worth remembering. To have this structure and time to hold on to reminds us of our worth and props us up when we are unsteady. Wobbling because life challenges us every day, these routines and conversations remind us of why we wake up each day, revived for the want of a positive and successful day. Now we may feel cloudy and uneasy and all we have to hold on to is the last remaining hope of a future we can plan when the control and freedom is placed back within our hands.

Our navigation of this free time is pivotal to our experience of the future. We may feel required to use every minute to be productive, become an expert on the piano, learn to bake the best sourdough bread, get on top of and ahead of your work, redo the interior of your entire house. While these idyllic opportunities pass our minds, we may be successful of one or two, but it would be beyond our capabilities as humans to partake in monumental achievements while our minds are concerned with the realities bubbling up around us. Considering how we managed to exist in our lives previously, we must gently remind ourselves of what is now obtainable and that preparing to create the best versions of ourselves to be released from lockdown will only leave us unfulfilled. The future is uncertain to us all, this does not however little our hopes for what could be.Remembering that there will come a time when we can return to a new kind of normality, and plan for new hopes and adventures which develop into the lives we wish to achieve. These small rays of sunshine will eventually find themselves blazing as life once did, and we will plan our futures with more time for each other and ourselves. Time will not be taken for granted, opportunities will be grasped with both hands and we will find a time where we can pause and realise, perhaps for the first time, how lucky we are to have the privilege to plan our own futures.

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