After reading an article by Daisy Buchanan in the May edition of Glamour, I realised she was so right, adulting is hard!
Not just for me, but for most people my age, older and younger. At the age of 23 I always thought I would’ve done more by now. Sure I have achieved a lot of the things I always wanted to, I was the first in my family to go to university, I graduated with a 2:1, passed my driving test at the age of 18, purchased a car, have a semi-successful social life (if that’s even a thing) and have been privileged enough to visit some beautiful places in the world, but why is it that I often feel disappointed with where I am in life? I look at others around me and sometimes it is difficult to not feel as though I’m not at the stage in life I should be.
I studied for a degree in Journalism and Creative & Professional Writing, with the aspiration of one day working within a Woman’s Magazine, writing about the topics that interest and inspire me. As I see younger graduates achieving what I should’ve done a long time ago, it is easy to become disheartened and disappointed with where my career path is going. Floating from job to job, and I have done quite a few, from the grief of working within a Local Authority call centre, to retail, to admin, and although each job has taught me valuable skills and gained me some life long friendships, if you don’t have that passion and desire, is there really any point? We spend the majority of our lives at work, so if you don’t enjoy it, are you even really living your life? Living for the weekend does not count FYI.
I guess I found my breaking point when I was driving to work one morning, with the thought of another day in a miserable office looming, sick bubbling in my stomach. I lost all concentration and accidentally hit a parked car’s wing mirror (don’t worry there was no damage). I just stopped the car, and began to cry. I wondered what on earth I was doing with my life! I have no children, no mortgage, no debts – no real money commitments to tie me to a job that I couldn’t tolerate any longer. That’s when I thought of that episode of Friends, where Chandler makes Rachel quit her job at Central Perk because she didn’t have the ‘Fear’. She didn’t have the ‘Fear’ to make her fight for the job she wanted, the job that would make her happy, make her fulfilled. I couldn’t relate more.
So for the first time in a long time I took control of what I really wanted. That same day I resigned from my job and felt an instant sense of relief, that invisible mound of bricks holding me back had finally gone and I was happy. Sure I had no real plan, no back-up, no savings or trust fund from the bank of Mum and Dad, no safety net to catch me. This time I really had to go it alone and figure it out the hard way.
So I started applying, for internships, placements, anything and everything that would have me, but sadly to no avail. I couldn’t even get an internship without experience and although I genuinely did have the ‘Fear,’ of what the hell have I done. I had quit a job that pays me a monthly, great salary for what? For this. For mounds of generic rejection emails, for those times where you get the smallest glimmer of hope when you’re called back for that second interview, only for it to be crumbled to dust a few days later when they tell you they’ve gone with a ‘more experienced candidate’. At that point I wanted to give up, resign to a life in a job I despised, just counting down the years until retirement. Eventually I did have a break through, I did get a job, some might say I gave up. I went for a job that wasn’t the dream. But it’s been a job that has taught me all the skills required to take those next steps and help me grow and develop, but now it is time to go back to the beginning, to take these new found skills and apply them elsewhere, apply them towards the job I really want!
So I’m starting a number of work placements within popular women’s magazines. Gaining those basic skills and knowledge required to hopefully help me reach my goal. But the point is, I’ve taken a leap of faith into the unknown, I refused to settle for money, for the idea that you have to have a certain salary once you reach a particular age bracket, regardless of if you’re happy or not. Sure, I am not where I want to be, I know that. But the point is, is that I am taking the steps required to get to that place. I am following the path I want to go down, I’m trying to make the dream a reality. There’s no point sitting moaning about it, if you’re not willing to do something about it. Make those changes, take that leap into the unknown. Who cares if you’re on the lowest salary in your friendship group, or if you can’t attend that fancy dinner because your internship isn’t paying enough, those small sacrifices are what it takes to reach that end goal. Sometimes you just have to go for it, and although there’s no guarantees in life, it might work out, it might not, but one thing that I will always be sure of is that I tried. I know that I gave it my all and tried the best I could to achieve what I wanted. And who cares if I’m not where society says I should be within my career, there’s no rule book, no wrongs and rights. Sometimes you just have to do what you love!
So if you’re dreading the thought of work tomorrow, tolerating that steady, unchallenging 9-5, think if it’s worth it. And if it’s not, take that leap of faith, because you will never know unless you try.