MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW
Family

Gemma’s Gem of the Week: Not According to Plan

Gemma’s Gem of the Week: Not According to Plan

While cleaning out my childhood bedroom, I found a letter I wrote to myself for a high school assignment. I was ready to enroll in college with a musical theatre major, hold onto my circle as tightly as possible, and graduate with a structured plan. 

16-year old me had no idea what was coming.

Behold: an incredibly tattered, messy, flashy letter of a 16-year old – who also seemed to have forgotten to write her name on the front.

As the end of my senior year was swiftly approaching, I began feeling uneasy about the decisions I was planning for myself. I was auditioning at various schools for musical theatre, and something just didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel like I was connecting to the schools as deeply as I expected to. I remember sitting in the library staring at a blank screen where my 6 other college essays were supposed to be. Suddenly, the idea of a 4-year commitment towards something I was unsure of felt daunting.

And so, at 17 I decided to take a gap year. This time period was incredibly messy, uncertain, and not according to plan. I realized that no one really tells you what to do if/when you decide not to go to college, so I was figuring it out all on my own – which, for someone with anxiety, was not the ideal situation at first! I realized how many stigmas there truly are surrounding work ethic, as I’d be asked the constant questions: “Where do you go to school? What’s your job? What do you do?” At first, any time I’d be faced with these questions, I’d internally panic, fumbling around for any combination of words I could that would make it sound like “I had things figured out.” In reality, my answer at the time was I dont know what I’m doing at the moment and am currently figuring it out.

I’ve experienced feeling a lot of shame surrounding “figuring things out,” and it’s taught me just how much pressure there is, especially on our youth, to have your life structured around one set plan, and stick to it. What’s so wrong about needing time to figure things out? And why do things have to seem overly grand and extravagant to have significant value?

I learned that there can be numerous options and opportunities linked to one specific passion or plan. For example, I began working as a teaching artist during my gap year, and found that I really enjoyed developing leadership and educator skillsets. I loved becoming familiar with the behind the scenes elements to theater, which made me understand my initial passion that much more.

There is just as much value in human experiences that you can learn and thrive in. There is just as much value in taking time to get to know yourself better, assert boundaries, and setting aside time for rest. Things don’t have to be large and glamorous all the time in order to possess meaning surrounding your life. Although I’m still working on taking the advice I give, my life experiences are continuing to teach me just how much value lies in following what feels right – even if it isn’t according to plan.

Family

An Author, Editor, and Writer, Gemma Farquhar loves engaging with the projects she works on, diving headfirst into the research, investigation, and production of the stories she feels are newsworthy. She is a curious and proactive Writer, interested in the latest digital media trends and passionate about the future of storytelling. She welcomes all ages to her column in hopes of achieving a greater understanding of one another.

More in Family

3 Last-Minute Gifts for the Friend Who Has Everything

WriterOctober 26, 2021

Why Do You Need to opt for Laser Hair Removal?

WriterOctober 26, 2021

Signs Indicating That Your Residential Roof May Need Repair

WriterOctober 26, 2021

A Live Looney Tunes Musical Show Coming To A Stage Near You

Suzanna BowlingOctober 26, 2021

South Street Seaport Museum Announces Monthly Virtual Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music Live Sing-Along

Suzanna BowlingOctober 26, 2021

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Returns October 29!

Suzanna BowlingOctober 23, 2021

Understanding Concepts of Character and Characterization

WriterOctober 22, 2021

How to stop shopping compulsively

WriterOctober 22, 2021

Serendipity3 Has Created Pie in the Sky Sundae a “Waitress” Inspired Sundae

Suzanna BowlingOctober 21, 2021