What’s Next? I Haven’t the Foggiest…

by Gurpreet Sihat

Last month, I was fortunate enough to be published in Fearless Femme’s print edition, ‘The Next Step’, alongside a photograph taken by my sister, Ranjit. To say I was excited is an understatement. Seeing your name in print never quite gets old, but this was something else entirely. This was my article in a magazine filled with women who I admire and adore. Women who know what’s going through my head – the voices, the fear of depression sinking in, the struggle of anxiety, the effects of the things that have happened in the past – and who don’t judge me for it. Instead, they help ground me. They remind me that it’s okay to feel the way I feel. That it’s nothing to be ashamed of. That I’m in good company.

This was Fearless Femme.

So, this very excited writer would like to share that with you. What’s next, you ask? I haven’t the foggiest…

∞ ∞ ∞

What’s next? Apart from ‘Why?’, it seems to be everyone’s favourite question.

Finished your education? Wonderful. What’s next?

Got yourself a dream job? Fantastic. What’s next?

You and your partner are engaged? Lovely. What’s next?

I hate those words. I’ve lost count of how many times people have asked me them. No one is ever satisfied. No one is ever okay with letting you simply stop and be for a while. To let you bask in whatever you’ve just achieved. It’s always about moving onto that next step.

But what if you step backwards?

What if you step sideways?

What if something’s on the step that you’re aiming for?

After an odious two years doing my A Levels, I started my undergraduate degree in Film and TV. I had no plan in mind. No idea what was next. University was simply next logical step. By the second year, I thought I had it all worked out though. I was doing really well in my assignments, I had great friends, and I had bagged myself an internship with Pinewood Studios. Life was perfect.

“What’s next?” everyone asked.

Next, I would graduate. I would get a permanent job at Pinewood Studios. I would live life to the fullest.

I did graduate. With honours and a scholarship. But my time at Pinewood Studios came to an end. There was no more work. No permanent job. My friends? They all moved on with their lives. They got jobs, got married, left the country. My family was riddled with death and drama. Then I was diagnosed mentally ill.

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