Have you ever felt like you have to do what everyone expects? There is this overwhelming, subconscious, nagging feeling, like the world expects you to go with the flow and do as everyone else is doing? Which is to go to college, get a decent job, be in a long-term relationship, eventually resulting in marriage, have a couple of kids, work till you’re ready to retire, and finally get put into an assisted living community so you aren’t a burden on your loved ones.And at each of those stages you are again expected to go about it in a certain way. And for some reason your stray you are doing something completely wrong with your life.
I’m finishing university soon and I’ve been feeling like I’m expected to do the next logical thing which is to find a job that fits my education background. So ideally something in marketing. But after everything I have supposedly learnt at university, I still don’t have the skill I thought I would by the time I was done. And certainly not all the skill that I wanted. Instead I learned theory, theory and more theory. So instead of having a degree that was supposed to improve my options in regard to finding a job, I now have thousands of dollars of student debt and a bunch of theories and no usable skills.
It seems like everyone my age is getting a stable job and choosing a life that is expected of them. No one is really questioning what they know or what they’ve been told. And I am here, still not sure about what’s really in store for my future. Wondering what my options are, or if I even have any?
The possibilities are limitless…right? Or was it limited?
Then I had a revelation and a moment or clarity. The only reason I felt so boxed in by the lack of options was because that’s what I was tell myself. It turns out, I do have options. I just haven’t made an effort to look and explore.
Ergo, I started to explore. I before I did this, I stopped and asked myself what it was that I really wanted to do. If there was something new that I wanted to try, or something that I may have wanted to do in the past that I put aside because it didn’t seem feasible. Some dreams seem unattainable because they were out of my comfort zone.
After understanding what direction I wanted to head into, I began researching. I looked into courses I could take, job opportunities in that field, things that I still needed to learn, small steps I could take in that direction (this blog being one of them). By doing this, I was not only learning about possible options but also about myself and what I definitely didn’t want. These may not have lead to any concrete plans but it was most certainly the step in the right direction and for me that was enough.
I find that I often create limits for myself. Thinking that things won’t work out because I’m not that good at it or because it’s not something people become successful doing. But success isn’t something that can only be measured by how much money you make or your net worth. Every so often, it is the small feeling of accomplishment that comes with doing something that you love. It is being proud of what you have achieved and the effort that you put in.
So many times we think we have exhausted all our possibilities or like our choices are limited because what we want to do seems out of reach, or not in line with what we have been told our entire lives (by ourselves, by our friends and families, and by society). In those times you have to remind yourself that there isn’t one set road to success. You can pave your own path, write your own story. Take your time getting there because the best part is the journey.