We spend most of our childhood in school to prepare us for the real world. We spend years attempting to get decent grades and build our resumes in an effort to impress future employers whether that’s on Wall Street, a newspaper, a public relations agency, a hospital, a school, or something else. We spend years working up to this point. But what happens if, when we reach this point, we aren’t satisfied? What if we get to our desired place in life and find ourselves left disappointed?
I’ve spent most of my life preparing to get into college. Then I spent most of college focused on my future career. I wanted to make sure that someone would take notice of me so I spent 3 extra hours scouring over my resume. Then I spent 15+ extra hours a week participating in student run organizations.
Yet here I am, months into this life I had dreamed about and I’m left feeling considerably dissatisfied.
As I discover my true passions in life, I’m left wondering why. Why do I spend so much time working towards a career if it’s not truly something that I want to do with my life? Why would I consider spending upwards of $50,000 on a masters degree in an area that merely sounds professional and doesn’t leave me lying awake at night pondering? And why am I spending a considerable amount of money each month to live somewhere if it isn’t where I want to live?
I’ve heard so many people tell me that if they could go back in time, they would do it differently. They would have taken that chance. They would have moved to the city on a whim. They would have let their mistakes happen and know that it’s only a learning process. And most of all, they would focus on what makes them happy vs. what coincides with societal expectations.
Maybe it worked out the way it should. Maybe you’re just fine the way you are. And maybe you know exactly what it is that you want and you’re already going after it.
But if you’re like me- you spend hours imagining different scenarios in your head. You see the life you wish you had and the life that you do have. There’s a disconnect between the two.
Fear and doubt and uncertainty will hold you back and tell you that you can’t. But your heart? It will tell you that you can.
So look around you and ask yourself why you are doing the things that you are doing. Ask yourself why you’re working at that job. Ask yourself why you’re spending your free time with that community organization. And ask yourself why you surround yourself with the people that surround yourself with.
If one of your answers isn’t “because this makes me happy,” then take a long look at your life.
We only get one of these. We only get one chance to do exactly what we want to do. And we only get once chance to make mistakes that we can look back on with a smile for the rest of our lives.
Take chances, take a lot of them. Because honestly, no matter where you end up and with whom, it always ends up just the way it should be. Your mistakes make you who you are. You learn and grow with each choice you make. Everything is worth it.