This seemed like a cliche enough picture for a post about self-discovery.
I never thought I would be complaining about not having enough stuff to do. Well, that's not completely true. I really do enjoy being so busy that I don't have time to sleep, and the only way everything gets done is by strictly adhering to an ever-changing schedule in my brain. I like to sleep sometimes, obviously, but only in-between the busy bits. Free time is also a plus, but even that should feel productive in some way (baking, running, hanging out with friends, plotting to take over the world...).
It's when there is little to do and only really, really long term deadlines (a couple of months or more) that things begin to slide. When I have too much time, and no hard and fast deadlines to adhere to, nothing gets done. Nothing. For my three classes here, I had three hours of lectures a week, some suggested reading, one paper, and one final. No job, and my only extra-curricular with set practices is a Friday night Capoiera class that I keep missing because I am out of town.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am absolutely not complaining about this really awesome experience I am in the middle of. London is fantastic, and having the free time to explore London, as well as being able to travel to Europe is incredible. This is more some soul-searching self realisation about how I function as a semi-competent human being. Now that most world governments recognise me as an adult, I should start figuring this stuff out, right?
I have already learned never to schedule early morning flights so early that the public transportation you need to get to the other bus or train you are taking to take you to the airport isn't running. Night buses are not super reliable and waking up at 3 AM is not fun.
I have learned that public transportation (where functional) is awesome. I do not miss driving, but will miss walking almost everywhere, and sitting and reading a book on the tube to my destination.
I have also learned that I travel well with certain types of people and not well with others, and yes, It does make a huge difference.
I have learned that routines of some sort are my friend. Or at least schedules. They don't even have to be consistent, really. Also, deadlines. Deadlines are awesome. (I really never thought I would say that.) Basically, having copious amounts of free time and a travel schedule that prevents me from picking up those little (or big) responsibilities that give my life structure isn't going to work for me long term.
Not to say I wouldn't want to say, hike through Turkey for a month, or spend a few weeks backpacking in New Zealand, but this whole class-three-days-a-week-no-job-travel-every-other-weekend-and-randomly-for-two-weeks isn't going to cut it. Can you spot the difference? Here it is- one has structure. Boy, do I sound boring.
Did I mention how excited I am about the tupperware I get to purchase for my apartment next year? Because... yeah.
P.S.- I feel like I should point out again that I am really, really happy in London, and this has been an incredible, eye-opening, and life changing experience for me. Part of what has made it so great though, is how much I have learned about myself. Not really what I was expecting. I have learned all sorts of things about different cultures, how to travel without making a complete fool of myself, and that Londoners are sadly deprived of real cornbread and decent barbecue. But I think some of the most important things I have learned are things about how I function, and under what conditions I excel. These are lessons that will help me make decisions for the rest of my life. Would I have figured all this out back in the states? Probably. Did I already know some of it? Yeah. Did being here, in a mostly alien environment make me face it and figure it out a whole lot faster? Absolutely.