The scent of brownies baking in the oven starts to linger in the house. My current thoughts – hoping that my popcorn brownies in the oven turns out good.
It is the perfect kind of weather to laze around at home in my PJs – snuggling up with a good book, baked brownies and milk for teatime, and of course, a sideline of random thoughts lingering in my brain.
People often asked me, “What exactly do you on most days?” I can’t deny it, but that was the kind of question I will ask when someone told me they are on their Gap Year. Before I dived into my own Gap Year, I had a pretty bias overview that a typical Gap Year usually consists of 80% traveling and the other 20% lazying in bed.
But of course, that wasn’t the case.
Now that I’m almost 9 months into my Gap Year, my first rule of advice for those who are thinking of taking one is to set out and understand your purpose and intention(s) of taking a Gap Year. What makes one’s Gap Year different than the others is our intention(s). If your intention is to travel the world, then of course 80-90% of your time will be spent on traveling.
My Gap Year intention is pretty straightforward – it is all about self-care. Therefore pretty much everything that I do during my Gap Year is towards a greater intention of caring for myself (in other words, anything that will make me feel happy, rejuvenated and at peace).
For a while, I’ve always wondered why I do what I do, or why I love engaging in certain activities. Two weeks ago before my trip to Japan, I had a mini intervention for myself. It was after the intervention that I became more enlightened about my life. For a start, I became more assured that Allah put me on this Earth to serve humanity through my strength in influencing others to be a better version of themselves.
And I realised that in order to fulfil this life calling, there are a few factors that drive me or in other words, I need these things in order to be able to serve people in my best self.
1. A healthy mindset – that’s why it makes so much sense that I love the outdoors, traveling and nature. My interests in cycling, trekking and a sense of adventure are the medium for me to create a healthy mindset.
2. Constantly seeking knowledge – that’s why I’m always curious about life and the drive to learn new things is always there to keep my mind active with new knowledge and wisdom.
3. Getting inspired – that’s why I love to constantly surround myself with positive people and be in an environment that will never fail to inspire. This is where I actually thrived – especially when I meet new people and get inspired from hearing their life stories. At the end of the day, life is a series of stories we tell.
4. Reflections – that’s why I love having deep thought provoking conversations with people around me. And it never fails to amaze me how sometimes you can get that connection with people whom you just met.
5. Love – that’s why family, friends and the religion are important to me to always keep me grounded and be grateful with everything that I have in life.
Even though it seems like a luxury to be able to take a year off, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. There are many times that I questioned myself, have doubts about where I am in life right now and how do I go about my life after this year.
Nevertheless, this reflection post was a great reminder to myself as to why I needed this Gap Year for myself. It is not about how much time you’ve spent that matters but it is how those time spent makes you feel that matters.
My brownies turned out great – slight regret in mixing the stale popcorn in the brownies though.