We all go through seasons in life. Every new stage is a new season. Childhood, school, being a student, young adult, newlywed, parent, grandparent, retired… I’ve only experienced up to the newlywed/young adult part, but if there’s one thing life has taught me is that it is ok, no it is great, to live fully in the season you are currently in, and then move on.
It’s a common thing for people to wish to relive certain seasons of their lives after they have passed. After high school a lot of my friends wished they could go back to high school, saying it was the best 5 years of our lives. Now after being out of university for a few years, the reminiscing about the good times are turning into ways to transport you back to the “best days of our lives”.
To be honest, I never wanted to relive any season in my life. My secret, literally living in the moment during every second of the season I was in. In high school, I did everything; sport, culture, leadership, academics and social. I enjoyed every moment and when I walked out those gates with my matric results I was so ready to move on. The 5 years I spent at university was the same. My gran always says I got 100% out of my university fees and a bit more. I was involved in university leadership, socialised and I passed every year well. Even though I was reluctant to start working (who isn’t after university), I was ready to move on. My short stint in Oxford just confirmed it.
It’s important to let yourself be fully in each season of your life and there are a few reasons why these seasons in life are so special and why you should embrace them as ever changing:
Reason 1: New Experiences
Every season holds amazing new experiences as you make new memories and also new friends. Some seasons are shorter than others, like my Oxford season, but each season holds new experiences in a new environment. These environments are designed specifically for that season you are in. Student life seems hectic and crazy and irresponsible to a working professional, but it is the perfect place to experience growth on a social level and meet new people. These shared experiences can later create connections between people who find themselves at different seasons in their lives, but they can still relate to each other.
Reason 2: People
Every season brings new people. You know the saying sometimes you need to let people walk about of your life and in some ways, that is true. Transitioning from high school to university allows for relatively easy ways to move on and meet new people. Sometimes we are lucky and those special people we had a bond within school stay part of our lives, and we need to treasure those bonds. Transitioning from university to working individuals can be harder I have found. Unlike school where everyone in your grade finished at the same time, it’s not necessarily the case for university life and people start to drift apart. It’s very sad and can be painful, but it is also a natural progression of life. It’s important to understand that as people move into new seasons, they will meet other new people as well. The important thing to remember is that you had a season with a specific person and as long as the bond is not forced, you will always be able to connect on a different level, no matter what seasons you find yourself in.
Reason 3: Knowledge Growth
I know this one sounds a bit philosophical, but I’ve found that I have grown in my knowledge of the world, people and myself in every season of my life. I don’t like to think, “o I was so stupid to think a certain way during a certain period of my life”. For me, it’s important to acknowledge that you had a certain mindset and a certain amount of knowledge during a specific season in your life. With every new season comes new knowledge, and if you lived in the moment throughout the previous seasons, you will see how this new knowledge fits into what came before. For example, I ran track in school and although I loved it, I now have a much better understanding of my body and how to train, so I can use my running skills learnt in school and combine it with the self awareness I have of my body today, and eventually be a better runner. It’s like drawing from the past to live in the now.
Reason 4: You are Allowed to Start Over (to a degree)
I loved this one when moving from high school to university. In school, I was known as the “smart girl” who would inevitably become DUX Learner and go on to do “great things”. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a 17 years old. So when I went to university I wanted to be different. I cut off my long blond hair and started to dye it all shades of red, purple, blue, green (yes the whole rainbow at a stage). I went to campus barefoot and I wore headbands and had an air of caring very little. In reality, I still worked really hard at my academics and it paid off, but to the outside world I was “the hippy girl” not the “smart girl”. For a time I liked it that way, it was nice not having the “smart girl” tag around my neck and feeling like people didn’t just talk to you because they wanted to know something about a test or assignment. It did get pretty boring though because then people were amazed that I did so well academically… Now, in my young adult season, I am transitioning again and starting over again, in a way. My wardrobe has changed (I still love my flowery lose dresses though) and although I still have short hair, it’s more natural blond now again. For the first time ever I am now working at making people see that I AM the “smart girl” in my field (it can be extremely frustrating at times) because being young in the workplace also gives off a certain idea of what you know. It’s challenging but also exciting because we can reinvent ourselves and try out and develop new sides to ourselves as we move through our seasons.
I’m not going to lie and say I love my office job season that I am in right now, but I do love the newlywed season I am in. I love the young adult living with her husband in our own home season. It’s allowed me to grow so much as a person and find new passions. I’ve lived every single season of my life up to now at 100% and I plan to do the same with this one. I take only the memories from the seasons passed and reminisce and connect, but I know that the new season will hold great adventure after these stubborn growing pains.