Sunday, 21 September 2014

Dear, Lost 20 Something...


In a world where we're almost expected to have our shit together by the time we're 30, I can't help but feel a little concerned. 

Careers, children, settling down, buying a house, owning a car, generally being a successful & contributing member of society... Just a few social pressures that I feel are weighing heavy on my shoulders at the moment. I don't know about you - but I don't have any of the above. But you know what? That's okay...

Something I noticed lately is that both my online & offline friends seem to be in a similar situation. Your twenties are a scary time, it would seem. Maybe you're leaving University and trying to find the career at the end of the tunnel, or perhaps your life has completely been flipped on its head lately; what you always knew has gone and you've just found yourself lost. No direction, no idea where to turn or what to do next. 

Instead of letting these un-written rules, of what we supposedly should have achieved by now, weigh you down - I'm proposing we just take a breath, shake them off and work hard at what makes you happy. Chances are, you've already accomplished something anyway; you're just too busy looking at what should've been and not what's already right in front of you. 

Personally, I feel as though because I'm not doing something with my Spanish degree (what is, realistically, a great achievement in itself), that I'm somehow failing. That I haven't gotten onto a PGCE; again, failing. That I'm not working in an area that I love yet; failing. But what I am doing at the minute is taking my strengths (painting, writing, creating) and trying to make something from it in the meantime. It's not 'ideal', but then, what is? What is the ideal that I'm looking for? It may not even be out there, which makes me feel like it's more important than ever to concentrate & appreciate exactly what you do have now - however small it may seem. 

There will always be people who land on their feet - dream job, perfect house, jet setting here, there & everywhere; but it's important not to compare yourself. We live in a society where people pick & choose everything that they share with others - and chances are, if you scratch below the surface - things aren't as perfect as they seem. (Have you seen the woman who photoshoped herself into pictures to trick her family & friends into believing she went to Thailand, when really she was sat on her sofa? - possibly a tad extreme, but you get the point).

What I'm trying to say is - you're not alone. Touch wood, there is still a hell of a lot of time left to achieve everything and more, that you want in life. There's no rush, no imaginary clock or list of things we should have done by the time we're a certain age. Lets not lose our heads to something that doesn't even exist

Work hard, stay humble and keep yourself happy & you never know what may come your way. 

Are you feeling the same?
I'd love to hear your thoughts
xo

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35 comments

  1. I really want to hug you for this post. I'm at the stage of my twenties where most of my friends are graduated and in their respective careers, and are starting to settle down, whereas myself, I'm only in 2nd year of my degree and have just had a relationship end. It can be very daunting if one is not a very strong person.

    I may be bias (Spanish major in college, holla!) but I wouldn't be against you sometimes posting in Spanish! That way at least you're getting some use out of your degree. :)

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    1. Aw, thank you so much. Even if it just resonated with one person, I'm glad I got it off my chest :)

      I am actually tempted by writing in Spanish, or English first, Spanish underneath, but I'm not entirely sure hehe... But you're right, it would be wonderful practice & I'd be incorporating it into something else I love :) thank you xx

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  2. I think all twenty-somethings are in the same boat. I thought everything would come so easily, I'd be moved out and living this amazing independent life. I also thought I would have achieved something huge by now, but I kind of feel the same as I did when I was eighteen, on the brink of being an adult but still kind of a kid.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

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    1. I agree! I feel like these last few years have really flown, but I don't necessarily have much to show for it. I guess it will all come together in time :) xx

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  3. I definitely identify with this post so so much, and I'm only just a twenty something! I graduate next year and don't really know which way I won't to go. Most days that terrifies me stupid but on the odd occasion I find the idea of not knowing and being free to still make that decision really exciting. I guess I just need to try and hang on to that optimism a little more often. :)
    xx
    katedruryy.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Definitely :) graduating is a scary time! I feel like only a very small handful of other people on my course have actually gone on to use the degree subject, but I suppose if you enjoy it at the time - that's all that really matters! xx

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  4. I made a similar post last week and I'm a year older than you - so nice to see that I'm not the only one going through this! It is strange when I'm already feeling too old to even think about having children and when I'm surrounded by people successful in their careers whilst I'm still trying to find one that I even like, while others are buying houses while I'm still trying to choose a motorbike...!

    Nicola // pink-confetti.co.uk

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    1. Ah, I shall go have a read :) haha - I agree though, I'm like 'should I be feeling broody? what do I waanntt?' xx

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  5. Totally get what you mean about not using your language degree, im a french grad applying for iobs at the moment. I dont feel confident enough in my french grammar to apply for french speaking jobs but at the same time feel im failing if I dont use the degree! Xo

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    1. Glad I'm not alone :)... I have exactly the same feeling. My spoken spanish was never my strongest point, but it has been two years now since I graduated and used it properly, that it's probably even worse - and then you're stuck in that endless cycle! Xx

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  6. To be totally honest I'm sick of the "you're -insert age here- you should have done this by now" thing. I constantly get comments asking me when I'm going to start driving and I won't lie, it pisses me off. It's like people don't understand the money it takes to learn to drive, buy a house and have children. It's just expected.

    I don't want to buy a house just yet. For starters I don't have a spare £30k lying around, but I want to test the waters by renting first. But when I tell people they talk to me as if I'm stupid and now I've just learned to ignore them, and even then it's hard.

    Sorry for that rant there haha! Anyway, my general outlook on life at the minute is that if you're happy, shite to all the other things. Do what you want and if it doesn't go the way you want it to, keep at it but don't lose focus of all the other good things in your life xx

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    1. Haha! Rant away. I totally understand though. I've had my fair share of judgement lately, but when I look at my situation and I know I feel happy within myself (which, not all people can say) then really, what's the problem? You know? I feel a lot better for just accepting where I'm at and working hard for what I want. Fingers crossed it all works out :) xx

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  7. I totally understand how you feel! I just graduated, I'm not working in a field I particularly like, or using my degree! I feel disappointed in myself especially when I have friends who also just graduated and landed their dream jobs right off the bat :( But! I am self sufficient, I have my blog as a creative outlet that I love, and I get to come home to my loving boyfriend every day! Just need to focus on the positives as hard as it can be sometimes :)
    Allison from www.mercuteify.com

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    1. Exactly :) and theres nothing wrong with that. I feel like the pressure of Uni debt is probably what makes a lot of young people feel 'guilty' about working in the field of their degree, but in reality, not many people do! xx

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  8. I can relate to this! I majored in Biopsychology thinking I would love to do research for the rest of my life, but at the end of my college career I didn't want to continue with my plan. Now I get people asking what my next step is, why I don't have a boyfriend, blah blah blah. *sigh* Can't know any of those if I don't feel like I've found myself. Great post :)

    Aissa // Layer It Up

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    1. :) so pleased you enjoyed it, thank you! And I love that last quote. xx

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  9. Hi Sam, been a silent reader for awhile now but wanted to comment on this post to say I'm right with you! I'm 21 and just graduated in May. I've been constantly frustrated and upset that I have worked so hard at getting excellent grades and done many internships and jobs to land yet another internship. It's hard when people ask you if you ever intend on moving out of your parents'.... I try to reflect on things I'm thankful for on a daily basis to remind myself that things aren't all that bad at all and that there are better times ahead :)

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    1. Hi Kar Yi :) there definitely are. While I believe good things come to those who wait, I also believe good things come to those who work hard & are passionate. I'm sure a great job will come along soon xx

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  10. I haven't hit my twenties yet, but I'm already feeling the pressures of knowing exactly what you want to do with your life and what career you want to pursue. I'm not so sure if the degree I'm doing is right for me and it's really stressing me out and I feel like I'm wandering aimlessly. It was really interesting to read your thoughts as well.

    Sheri | Behind The Frames

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    1. It's such a shame, because I feel like that pressure could equally result in someone making rash decisions and being forced into something they don't love doing for the sake of pleasing others. xx

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  11. Thank you for this post! My 21st birthday is around the corner and I have been definitely feeling like this, I put so much pressure on myself, sometimes I really hate it. Even though I am in Uni and doing pretty well, I started thinking that I chose the wrong path for me ( I'm studying French language and literature) and have no clue what I want to do with my life after I get my degree. I want to do so much and many different paths are interesing to me so I'm kind of lost, really. It really helps to know that I'm not alone feeling like this :) x

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    1. You're so welcome :) I'm glad you don't feel alone because you definitely aren't! It's great that you have so many different paths you want to explore - I'm very similar that way & always have been. Good luck! xx

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  12. I feel exactly the same. A lot of my friends know what they want to do and/or are already doing it. I'm 23 still at uni, studying something that might lead me nowhere. Nowhere near owning a car, a house, having a career or a family.
    My father also says that he wouldn't like to be our generation, that we seem to have it a lot harder than they did. I don't know about that but it's not the most reassuring speech.
    But the worst may be the people who ask me what I want to be later and their judging looks when I admit that I don't really know.


    Feathers and Brushes | Swiss | Beauty & Lifestyle

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    1. That's not the first time I've heard that either! While I was trying my bets to get onto a teaching course, my extended family couldn't really believe how many hoops we now have to jump through to even train to be a teacher - never mind all the work involved once you get there! But theres nothing wrong with not knowing, I like to think it leaves things open for something that could be wonderful, that you never even knew about :) xx

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  13. This post is so on point! The advice to spot on and applies to my life so much right now :)

    Her Whimsical Dreams

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    1. Thank you so much Amara :) glad you enjoyed it xx

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  14. Love this, as you're absolutely right. It's my situation and it's the same for a lot of people I know, so... I really appreciate this post! :) xx

    Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

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  15. Though I'm nowhere near my twenties yet, I still feel like there's pressure to be a certain way and to have done things at any age and atm I feel like I just can't socialise sometimes. Some people find it easy to hit it off with strangers straight away, I just feel like all I can be is nice and polite and it's quite frustrating at times. Nevertheless, thank you so much for this post, it made me realise that there's always going to be times in life where you feel inadequate in comparison to other people but that's okay, just so long as you're going somewhere and don't stop, you can't quite get lost! :D I hope that you find happiness in whatever you do! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm glad it helped in some small way. It definitely applies for all ages really, I guess I just know a lot of people in their twenties at the moment :) xx

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  16. I'm 40 & still haven't got "my shit together"! :) Yes I have a mortgage, partner, children, car but behind that ... the what's me? I still haven't figured out. I have had several "careers" gone back to uni as a mature student got a 1st class Psychology degree and then went on to my MSc in Forensic Psychology & got a job as an assistant psychologist with the prison service. 3 years in, another child and maternity break, back to work for 8 months ... I got ill. After 12 months off sick & still not better I lost my job and couldn't complete my MSc so had to take a postgrad certificate instead. 2/3 years on a treatment was found to manage my illness and I was ready (though anxious) to face life again. I got a job ... any job (just to get back into the routine if working, getting dressed etc) not one that used my degree/postgrad. Approx 1 year into this my 16 yr old daughter got ill and was in a hospital in Leeds (we are in Oldham). I couldn't cope with working f/t, looking after a 5 yr old and driving to visit my daughter every night. I got stressed and work wouldn't let me go p/t, have emergency leave, have unpaid leave or anything. As I'd already had some time off due to a broken and plastered right hand wrist, I lost my job with them to. At this point I decided to train as a MUA. Saved up, did the training and went freelance (allowing me the flexibility to look after my daughter - though she is now better). Whilst I am building my portfolio I don't get paid as I do collaborations with others (none of us are paid we just all add out talents to have a complete photo to build our portfolios). I suppose what I am saying (in this rather long comment) is that no matter how on track you maybe, what plan you may have etc etc life doesn't work like that, whatever your age, things happen that can change everything (not necessarily illness or even negative things) & you then have to rethink your plan totally (if you had one). So sometimes it may be better not to have too fixed a plan. You will have children when the time is right, having a car isn't the be all & end all (think of the maintenance costs - take the test to be able to ride a moped instead - you can buy one for £700 new, they cost £10 per year road tax and a full tank of petrol is £6 + they look totally cool & are easy to find parking spaces for!). Let life happen & know that it's ok if things don't go to plan - you can make a new plan! Be happy xxxx

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  17. Oh Sam, this is everything to me right now. I constantly feel a failure for so many things, not using my degree included, not having a job straight out of university, etc. Now is the time for us to explore the many paths open to us and hopefully find something we love along the way! Thanks so much for writing this. xx

    Tamsin / A Certain Adventure

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  18. Oh gosh, I have a similar post up right now - I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing! We'll both get where we're supposed to be, I'm sure of it <3 x

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  19. Great post. I'm in the same situation... I'm a few months away from being 30. Scary! The thing is I don't feel it... I totally agree with not comparing yourself with others. There will always be other people who are seen as more 'successful' than we are but then, I guess 'success' means different things to different people. So, the most important thing is to be happy and stay positive, always! There's one thing though, I've always wanted to be married by the age of 30... and now, knowing that I won't, it did make me a little bit sad at first but then... so what if I don't get married by the time I get 30? It's just a number and it will happen when the right time comes.

    I studied Music and for the last 2-3 years I'd been thinking about studying a PGCE. Don't be too hard on yourself though, it's not failure at all that you haven't done your PGCE yet. I heard that they actually prefer older and more mature applicants and becoming a school teacher is a real commitment. Perhaps get some school experience and see if it's definitely something you'd like to do? I did some work at schools and quite frankly, as much as I enjoy teaching the piano privately, I did not enjoy working in a classroom and therefore it made it clear for me that PGCE isn't for me.

    Sorry for my long-winded comment. Thanks again for a great post. I think a lot of people in their late 20's, or even in their 30's, 40's who aren't so sure what they're doing with their life or what they want. Time will tell and like you said, it's never too late to pursue one's dream.

    *steph x http://aworldofmusicandbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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  20. Great post!! Know how you feel. Everyone around me are getting mortgages, married, having babies and while i'm travelling the world (which in itself is a massive life goal) I still find myself totally lost about what I should do after I get home. Do I finally go to Uni and put the mortgage and other aspects on hold for another 3 years? Do I try getting a job and try working my way up? Just dont know!

    Leonie x

    ikonikbeauty.blogspot.com

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