Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.
Last week I had a bit of a quarter-life crisis. It’s as if when you hit twenty, these replace the bogey-man: they always arrive in the middle of the night, and scare you shitless.
I’ve been polishing my CV, and gradually beginning to build up speed with my job applications- but the job market is an incredibly scary place. Because there really isn’t that much room; people living longer means people need to work longer, as the typical pension no longer realistically supports them. Which means, like a lot of other things at the moment, those below the age of 30 are losing out.
Over the space of a week, two things occurred to me:
- I am considering taking a PT course. Then, should I ever be unemployed, I can support myself by taking on clients. I have a massive interest in health and fitness, and I feel like this would give me some time away from a more regimented working environment whilst still earning. I could perhaps open up more time to travel, and teach in other places. If I happened to develop my own business idea in this time, it’s an option I am open to exploring. Hence, I have found a back up plan to research and consider.
- I really really really want to be happy. Right now, I need to explore what would ensure that.
I know may people take a year out to work any job going, but…I’ve always felt like I’d somehow be failing if I did. I’m sure that you’ll know what I mean when I say this: it’s easy to see things objectively when it isn’t you. I know plenty of successful people who took a year out, or who didn’t go to uni at all. But there’s always that worry of am I throwing myself away if I don’t do a masters? Am I throwing myself away if I don’t move straight into the PR/Marketing industry, and miss my ideal job?
Here’s the thing, in all of the above paragraph all I am thinking of is this: what will please other people? How will they judge me? Will they talk about me? And for someone who usually couldn’t care less what the majority of people think about my personal choices, this is a strange situation to be in.
I’m sure you have all by now noticed what, until two days ago, didn’t enter my head, and which I now cannot stop wondering:
What will make me happy?
So far in life I have been lucky that my choices of doing well in high school and going to uni are both widely accepted, and have made me happy. I haven’t ever had to consider that my choice would displease someone other than myself. But leaving the safety of education means choices are harder to go back on, and they really do matter. However, as a twenty-something I’m fortunately at a point in my life where I have the least to lose (no kids, mortgage, or steady job). This is the time I can afford to take risks, and grow as a person.
I think every 20-something feels lost at some point. And for the end of this post… I can’t give you the answers, or a magical way of curing that feeling. I’m still trying to figure a lot out myself, but this week’s quote has to be my ultimate question when making those decisions. Because at the end of the day, life is both longer and shorter than we think it is, and I want to be happy with the majority of mine.
So, this week, consider: what makes me happy? What decisions would/wouldn’t make me happy? Perhaps write a long, long list of all of the big things you want out of life, which you feel would genuinely give you a life you love, and refer to that when decision making (I’ll definitely be attempting this).
Whatever you end up deciding, make sure that you’re seeking happiness and not approval that ultimately doesn’t matter.