The best way that I can describe adulthood is to remember what it was like coming home from a night out, several vodkas in, trying to get to your bedroom in the pitch black without waking the house up. Adulthood is making decisions without full vision, taking a best guess and hoping for a positive outcome. And I’m not just talking about what takeaway to get on a Saturday night, I mean life altering decisions that can completely change the direction of your life. For example, how crazy is it that an 18 year old can commit to a £40,000 university education based on, at best a dream and at worst a hunch, of what they might like to do for the next 50-60 years of employment. The amount of post grads that are currently sitting on a mountain of Uni debt whilst already in or pursuing a completely irrelevant career path must be huge. And I know…because I am one.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re looking for a place to tell you that University is a waste of money and you’ll regret going- this is not that. I had the time of my life, I went from a small town to a big city and from a shy kid to a young adult woman in a matter of months. It just so happened that 18 year old me relied too heavily on other people’s opinions of what I should study. I was the shy kid after all. See, I wanted to be a journalist, an editor at a (fancy!) magazine or a writer but those around me didn’t see it as a realistic career path (some now would say accurate…) and when they said I would be a good teacher, I was so desperate to go, that’s what I chose. It was my choice but ten years later do I wish I’d stuck to my dreams? 100%. Trust your instincts kids, no one knows you more than you know yourself.
Also, it’s never too late. I think about changing career paths on a weekly basis and I’m still hoping one day I build up the courage to jump. Maybe this year will be the year and you can follow the journey! Don’t choose not to do something because it’s hard because what if’s are even harder. Okay fine, being realistic about the probability of goals is a way to manage your expectations but don’t let it dim your dreams so much that you can’t even see them anymore. If those are the options presented in front of me; the realist or the dreamer, I don’t want to be the realist, sure that girl seems strong but she’s also guarded, cynical and stuck. I want to be the person that dreams big, trusts easy, loves deeply and takes the leap of faith. The landings harder and there is a chance you might get hurt or disappointed but you also open yourself up to the possibility of something wonderful. I choose to be the dreamer every damn time.
So what happens when you take a few wrong turns and worse, you get hurt in the process? Take a breath, swallow the bitter pill that’s keeping you up at night and move on. With pain comes growth, it doesn’t feel like it at the time but it’s true. I don’t necessarily buy that it makes you a better person but it definitely makes you stronger because you got through whatever it was that hurt you, you lived to tell the tale. Be proud of that. Always.
We’re all just trying our best. I think the world would be a little kinder if we weren’t so quick to put pressure on ourselves or hold other people up to such high expectations. We’re going to make mistakes, it’s life but all roads lead you somewhere.
N.B. Shout out to the movie ‘Begin Again’ for giving me some inspiration this week. Great movie- check it out.