This time next week, I’ll be eating breakfast in my new home in Prague. After back-and-forth journeys and plenty of false starts, I’ll finally be starting on my adventure in the Czech Republic in earnest. But to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about that.
The new decade has just begun, but I’ve already spent most of it living in the past. My brain has been stuck on an internal rewind function, reliving moments from the past, anxiety-warped thoughts trying to explain seemingly unjustifiable old hardships. I know I haven’t had a terrible life, but I’ve experienced more than my fair share of rejection both professionally and personally in my twenties.
I’ve worked extremely hard to grow out of being someone who was afraid to leave their room when most others were moving out of their parents’ homes, but fear that behind every door lurks another person or institution ready to hurt me has caused me to relapse more and more often over the past month.
One of the functions of the future continuous tense is to describe an action that will be in progress at a particular moment in the future. This is where my brain needs to learn to live. I hope that sometime soon, my thoughts will be residing in this space permanently. Accepting the past, acknowledging my sadness, but not trying to constantly dissect it. Instead, I should have both eyes pointed at the horizon and not see a reflection of yesterday, but a completely unknown and potentially great tomorrow.
Easy to say, hard to practice.
One of the only constants that I can remember running throughout my entire life is my desire to be a writer. I’ve never been sure in what capacity or how, and I’m nowhere closer to identifying that then I was in second grade, but if I’m not producing written work, I know I won’t be happy.
Although I put my work out there into the public sphere a lot in university, when it came to journalism and comedy pieces, my more creative aspirations have mostly remained on the shelf. I took a creative writing class in my third year at SFU that morphed into a weird group therapy program and somehow put me in a confrontational relationship with the professor, and it made me retreat further inwards.
Looking to the future, however, I threw all caution to the wind and recently entered the NYC Midnight Short Story Competition. You pay a fee and then they give you a genre, a topic, and a character, and you are tasked with developing a 2,500-word prose piece. If your work is determined by judges to be in the top five of a 30-person heat, you move on to the next round with similar guidelines but less time. Overall, there are four rounds and a bunch of great prizes. Even if you do not advance though, you get feedback from experts and can submit it to a forum to hear back from any number of the 4,000+ other competitors.
I was tasked with writing a Horror about Bodybuilding with a House-sitter involved. While the writing process was arduous, it was also extremely fun and satisfying to see the final work. If you’re curious about reading it, click the link below.
Future continuous is also used to talk about fixed future events. I will be finding out the results of round one and getting feedback on March 31. It’s a long time to wait for someone as impatient as me, but I think this project might open my creative floodgates. I’m going to try to write more shorts stories, push to actually put out an online project I’ve been working on, and get back to editing the young adult/children’s novel that I finished in August.
I can’t dwell on past failures too much longer, but also need to be wary of being too paranoid about the present. Due to the way I’ve felt let down in the past, I often find myself negatively using the third use of future continuous, which is for the prediction of current action.
They’ll all hate my story, I’m sure it’s no good. She’ll probably be looking for an excuse not to see me. I’m too often focused on what someone might be doing and while it’s a hard habit to break, it is undeniably a waste of time. If I don’t have any evidence beyond crude mental recreations of the past, I need to be trusting of others until given concrete reasons not to be.
As for my new life in Prague, I’ll be starting a teaching job almost as soon as I get there and I’m excited but also very nervous to get a routine going. My Visa came just in time to not disrupt my plans too much. I’ll be teaching adults both in group classes and in one-to-ones, using a textbook for the most part. Beyond that, I don’t really know what it will be like. So many other thoughts have been clouding my focus recently, but I hope it can serve as a positive distraction.
The future is relentless, but if I can keep myself only looking in that direction, there may just be something wonderful waiting for me.