When you’re going through the education system you have this cliché idea of what your road map is going to look like from here on out. It’s all bright and hopeful, you finish High School, go to College go through the stresses of getting into University and then once you graduate thats it – career time. It’s when you think your life starts. You get a job, you start to work hard to save for a mortgage so you’re able to have dinner parties with friends, begin to accelerate your career and work up the ‘ladder’ and be a REAL grown up.
The reality of all of this, is that when most people come out of university you’re in your early twenties. This was the case for me anyway (and i’m not saying how it went for me is how it goes for everyone) but I know I’m not the only one who’s felt the ways I’ve felt over the past 2 years and I feel like more people should be open about it.
So, my experience. Aside from the odd stress melt down, University was the best 3 years of my life. I made friends, I had fun (admittedly, sometimes too much), I learnt a lot and I met my man. It was a blast.
Then that all finished and I was so excited, I had an amazing job lined up, I got to explore where my career was going to take me and I was ‘growing up’. My life was on track to be just how I imagined it was going to be and I would be following that path on my road map.
It all started wonderfully, I was so absorbed in my job (which I absolutely loved) but about a year in something just didn’t feel right. When I took time to take a step back and really look at the bigger picture it wasn’t all I thought it was going to be.
If I had the chance to go back and talk to my younger self, my advise would be ‘Don’t Rush’. There is no real rush in life, your life is really all you have and you need to make the most of your time on this planet. It’s SO cliché but it’s SO true. It’s always a constant competition, whether thats with other people or with yourself. We strive to get the best grades, and the best jobs so everyone will be proud and impressed with what you’ve achieved. But a lot of the time along the way in doing that you lose yourself, you lose the aim to truly find what YOU want in life and you find that you’re doing what you think you’re expected to do.
At this point in time, I can say the full time job I had is something I want a career in and I can imagine that being the rest of my life – but, I haven’t had the opportunity to go out and actually test that, see what else is out there and find out if that’s what I really want to do.
If I stayed on the road I was on, I can see the great career I would have had, but I know that in the back of my mind I would be wondering. Wondering what else was out there, wondering if this wasn’t actually what i’m supposed to be doing. There’s a whole world out there and people will tell you that you can end up travelling with work, or travel when your older. But it wouldn’t be the same as it will be if I do it now, to be truly free.
In the grand scheme of things, I’m a baby, I have so much time ahead of me and there is no need to feel like I need to settle down and ‘grow up’ right now.
I’ve taken a detour and what lies ahead of me right now, looks so different to what I thought it would and honestly that scares the sh*t out of me. But I am so excited to go and do as much as I can and try as much as I can and meet as many new people as I can and do all of these things. So if and when I do get back on that road, I won’t feel lost, I’ll know that I’ve been out and tried and tested the world before I decide it’s time to settle down, not because It’s what other people are doing or anyone expects me to do it, but because I know it’s time.