Why does society expect so much of me? That word “should” has really gotten me down lately. I should have so much experience gained by now. I should have a job by now. I should have it all figured out. I should be settled in a steady relationship. I should be happy…
I was happy, and then along came my mid-life crisis at 22 years of age. I was just in the last few months of my Master’s, finishing up my thesis. It was almost time to enter the real world and start looking for jobs. All of a sudden I was lost. So unsure of myself, I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. Sounds dramatic, but I wasn’t really sure who I was anymore. So unsure in fact that I broke up with my long-term boyfriend for no real reason (but that’s a whole other kettle of fish).
If you put it down on paper, it sounds like I have it all going for me. Honors BA degree, honors MSc degree, sounds great, doesn’t it? Until you go looking for jobs in the real world (terrifying). Four years in college, working my ass off and nobody wants to hire me? Really? They all want “experience”, but you can’t get experience without having experience, it’s a vicious circle! That’s just the nature of the career path I chose, I knowingly signed up for this hardship.
Maybe I’ll just stay at home for a while and work in a shop/restaurant. Maybe I’ll move over to England, there are so many opportunities there. Maybe I’ll do another degree (lol), something that may be more employable. Maybe I’ll scrap everything I’ve done so far and just train to be a personal trainer. Or maybe I could be an air hostess and travel the world, how glam?! Yup… I was well and truly lost on a one-path track with so many potholes and corners and twists and turns and diversions…Google Maps couldn’t even get me out of this one.
This little crisis I was having wasn’t just about academia and careers but that’s the most tangible thing I can tie it down to. Undoubtedly there’s a plethora of other reasons why I felt like this that I’m not quite ready to face up to. I could honestly write a novel about the last six months of my life, it’s been eventful in good and bad ways but let’s keep this one short and sweet. You know what…I have to keep reminding myself I am only 22 years old. I’m a baby. I definitely do not have to have it all figured out by now. There is no “should”. What’s meant for you won’t pass you by (cliché but true).
I’ve decided to keep this post anonymous for now, as I’m still trying to figure it all out. However, the point I want to get across is that you need to do whatever makes you happy. Do it for yourself and nobody else.
I hope any other confused creatures out there can relate.
Lots of love,
A fellow Shona gal
P.S. I have now been offered a job in Dublin in the exact area that I want to work in, the cliché holds true. Wish me luck!