There’s one question that I seem to be getting quite a lot lately which is rapidly starting to become a bit of a pet peeve of mine: “So, what are you actually planning on doing with your life then?”
Yep, that old chestnut.
Because the truth is, I have no bloody idea what I’m planning on doing with my life – except to live it.
But also because, who on this Earth actually has a plan for the rest of their life that is 100% set in stone?
It’s been a crazy whirlwind of a year so far. I quit my job in a career I thought I wanted, I’ve seen corners of the world I would never have dreamed of seeing, met a bunch of new and wonderful people, filled all my weekends in a single month with festivals in far-flung places, opened myself up to new experiences, and generally just had the time of my life… and then moved home again with no plans and not much swimming around in the ol’ bank account.
My one aim: to settle down and not have to live out of a suitcase for a little while. So, I’m 25 and I have reverted to sharing a room again with my 18 year old sister.
But you know what? That’s OKAY.
When I was younger, by the age of 25 I thought I’d have a banging job with by-lines in all my fave music mags, my own place, and be well on my way to walking down the aisle with Brandon Flowers. As such, none of those things have materialised (must admit, not giving up hope on Brandon), but I’m not disappointed in the slightest. Why should I be? I have lived my life and gained valuable experiences along the way, all the while figuring out for myself what it is that I don’t want to do.
Young ‘uns have so much pressure on them these days to know what they want in life, and who they want to be when they grow up, from such an early age that it’s no wonder mental health issues in young people are on the rise every day. We’re expected to choose a university course, then go straight into choosing which career to get into, then where to settle down and who to choose as your lifelong partner, that before you know it you look back from your bloody massive mortgage and your stressful desk job and wonder whether you actually ever wanted these things at all.
Alright, life can’t always be fun, fun, fun – although I think Noah and the Whale would disagree – those things will have to be decided in time, but not at the expense of hating everything you’re doing just to have an answer ready for that overbearing relative at the family BBQ that wants to know your master plan in life.
It’s okay to be 25 and not know what you’re doing with your life. It’s okay to still be figuring it out, even if it feels like everyone around you has their shit together. It’s okay to not have your dream job, house and husband – or be anywhere near having those things – by 30. It’s okay to take your time when deciding what your next move is going to be. And it’s okay for that next move to only be a temporary fix before you’re onto bigger and better things.
But you know what’s not okay? Wasting precious time and energy on constantly comparing yourself and what you have to those around you that you think are doing better off, or getting down and thinking you’re a failure because you’re not where you thought you’d be by now – or letting anyone belittle your achievements thus far.
Because really, in the grand scheme of things, wouldn’t you rather look back on your life and cherish the memories you have of moments when you really, really lived and surrounded yourself with the people and places you love?
It may seem to the outside world that I am muddling my way through my life and that’s okay – because in the end, I’m going to make damn sure that it’s a life worth living.
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