In December of last year, I decided that I didn’t want to follow the conventional path of doing a year’s house job (or internship) after graduating. Instead, I decided to take the year off. I was going to use the time to pass two sets of foreign licensing exams (the PLAB for England, the USMLE for the US). Also, I was getting married in April. These two aims seemed quite enough to occupy me for the better part of 2014.
On the 12th of March, one day before my PLAB exam, my engagement of 3 months and relationship of over a year ended. Struggling to get through the examination the next day was hard enough, but at least that was expected. What wasn’t expected was the yawning emptiness that would face me after the exam. Nine months of 2014 stretched before me, empty and to all intents, purposeless. I had planned on giving the USMLE because my fiancé wanted to move to the US – with the fiancé out of the picture, the USMLE was no longer necessary. I had given the PLAB and the second part was going to be late in the year. There were also no wedding or post-wedding activities to occupy me for the next few months, as originally planned.
I was suddenly free, and free in a way that I probably wouldn’t be until I retired, because once the rat race of career running started, there would be little time to rest.
For all that one complains of being too busy, complete and utter purposelessness is actually kind of awful. I have spent all my life running after one thing or the other, and I have a work ethic that makes me feel terrible if I’m not doing something ‘useful’ as society defines it (a formal job or studies). So I find myself hating this state, and hating myself for being in it. I’ve spent barely ten days doing nothing and I can’t stand it any longer. The english word “unoccupied” doesn’t even begin to cover it. The only word that does is “faraghat”, the urdu word that covers the state of being useless, free, unoccupied, untied, and so on and so forth.
I have this image in my head:
And I suppose that’s exactly what I should be doing. I am a woman with a brain and reasonable ability, and I don’t think that an ended relationship (however horrible and sudden that was) should be cause for me to sort of abandon all plans and mope. But I guess the point of this is: what do I do? I don’t want to start a job while my future plans (of staying vs moving abroad) are so open. I can and have done freelance writing, and this blog is super neglected, so that’s a place to start. I have a reading list that is as long as a boa constrictor, and a movie/TV show list that is at least as long. I have friends to catch up with (that I’ve neglected for the years I spent studying medicine) and family flying in next month (originally for the wedding, now just to spend time with me).
There’s these things, and more that I’m doing. And yet I still feel restless and unoccupied, useless and untied. Faraghat doesn’t suit me, apparently, however lazy I might be. So this blog is kind of an invitation for suggestions. Is there anything else I can or should be doing? Have you been in a similar situation, and how did you get over those feelings?
Please let me know. And I’ll see you soon 🙂