It has been quite some time since I’ve posted on here but I’ve been busy, busy with this thing called life. Life is what happens when you’re trying to fit in all the things you planned on doing when you should have been revising for your last exam. When I graduated at 21, a bright eyed deer in headlights bursting with excitement and jitters of uncertainty about what life has to offer me, I had no care in the world. I had no idea what I wanted to do and no desire to try and even pursue a career or any other kind of wise or important life decision. Instead I packed my bags, blissfully and unaware flew of too Italy for the summer. I spent a good 5 months living on the Italian lakes, where my only qualm was what to do in the Italian sunshine with my new best friends I had only know a few weeks. Whilst my real life friends celebrated end of their academic life by walking up to the majestic red brick great hall at Leeds University to collect a small piece of paper which enclosed all our hard work, those late nights in the library where we was convinced we wouldn’t make it. We made it. They wore their draping gowns and collected their prestige degrees before swapping that elegant gown for a suit and tie to beginning of a corporate life. I was happy, I was doing what I wanted, I felt rebellious and free. Not restricted by gowns or paper, not suffocated by a suit or tie. I felt at home.
After my season had ended I said my goodbyes and headed home, this journey gave me a chance to reflect on what I’d left behind, the relationships and moments I have missed. I began to search for work and by chance I fell in to a banking role. The culture and attitude I experienced here was very alarming. I understand that this is a business environment and rules and professionalism are valued, but suppressing human cognition and creating robots is not something I signed up for. I had never worked in an office environment before and I was constantly being told off for being too loud, too chatty, too much laughing etc. I was constantly bombarded with propaganda as being forced to watch this message on repeat until it was distilled into my head, until I was too a corporate slave. “You need think about the future and save for a mortgage”, it was like a message on loop blaring through the intercom constantly reminded people why they were there. The dark and dull office environment was suffocating, Id often go days without seeing the sun thinking to myself this is normal I’m making a responsible choice for my future. Inside I was screaming “I’m 21 I don’t need to think responsibly, I need to live my life”. Following a series of incidents at the place of work I handed my notice in. I was discouraged by many people, my managers, my colleagues and even my friends. I specifically recall one of them saying “you’ve got a decent job and you’re throwing it down the drain, you’re stupid”. Indeed I may have been stupid but I was happy, Walking out of that place was probably the best thing I ever did. I spent that summer in France having the best time of my life, making memories that will stay with me forever.
It has become too easy for some people to get caught into this trap of life. Being pressured into going further education, then straight into a job, a marriage, a mortgage. You don’t need to go to University or have 30K job to be happy. I don’t want to end up 50 years old and think what the hell happened to my life, why I never did the things I wanted to do. The world needs to start appreciating people for their individuality. It’s okay if you don’t know what to do with your life! It’s okay if you don’t want to settle down or want to get a full time job to save money. Go out and enjoy your life do things you wanted to do.
Recently I have felt that it is time I start setting myself up for a career. This is a choice that I’ve made. I’ve had the time to do what I want and think about my life and where it is heading and I’ve made this decision taking into account all these factors. I see my friends around me getting into well-paid jobs and relationships. , getting married, buying houses. I will admit to an extent I was a little jealous, but then I tell myself my time is not now, I am not ready, I have not given up my passions. I will still try and go away on adventurous holidays once a year and I’ve applied to volunteer again. I feel like I’m at an important stage in my life where other people have a lot going on which I want to be a part of. A lot of my friends and family are getting married and I want to be a part of those memories now.
The best advice I could offer to anyone at that point in life where they feel like they don’t know what they should be doing or not as capable as others is; do what you want rather than what you should. You may be young, you may not, but it’s never too late to do something you’ve always wanted. Never compare yourself to anyone other than yourself. Those people you’re comparing yourself too have different aspirations and skills compared to you. You should only strive to be abetter than you were yesterday. Take a look at your surroundings and identify what is important and invest in it. Don’t live your life according to someone else because in the end you will only have yourself to blame if you are unhappy.