I just wanted to point out that it’s ok to have periods of confusion and not knowing what the future holds. Life is not a race and it’s ok to take time to figure things out. You are never “behind” your peers because everybody is walking a completely different path. Take care of yourself and stay true to who you are.
I had two interesting conversations this past weekend with two individuals who both have quite high education, but instead of jumping from the university straight into a corporate office they decided to take a break and see what direction is their intuition telling them to go. Instead of choosing the path of prestige and social approval they decided to search for happiness. I loved listening to their stories because they were really relatable to me. Three years ago I went through a similar phase and I’m sure there are many people out there, young and old, who are also struggling between choosing what is (by social standards) the right thing to do, and what they actually feel like doing.
Three years ago I was studying international business administration, a subject I picked because I had no idea what else I should study. After graduating high school I felt like I had to decide what the rest of my life will be like and business administration seemed like a safe option. Side note: You do NOT have to decide everything when you are 18. Very few people know what they want to do with their life already as a teenager. Most of the people don’t know it their whole life. It is OK to take time to find out what drives you.
Back to the story. When you study business administration it is only normal to do internships as you study, so that you get some work experience. Since I didn’t want to be left behind, I started looking for an internship as well, and soon started working in a marketing company. I was a bit excited to start working there, because it was something new, my parents were proud of me, and I felt like I was not missing out on something anymore. Looking at the whole thing objectively, it was a pretty good and interesting job. But not for me. The thing is that I didn’t want to admit myself that I didn’t like it. I felt like it was a necessary step for me to do, regardless whether I liked it or not. I think I would have continued working there for months, if my boyfriend at the time wouldn’t have given me an intervention. He asked me why I was doing it and I really couldn’t give him a good reason. Which made me question myself: why was I doing this really? It was definitely not because I loved doing it. The situation didn’t improve and a couple of weeks later I quit. I had no backup plan, no direction, nothing. (This was months before I even started considering teaching yoga.) Taking this step was hard to do for many reasons, the hardest part being admitting to myself that I’m not this person with an appealing CV and a “deluxe job title”.
I grew up thinking that the fancier your job title sounds the better. Now I have to laugh as I’m writing this, because it doesn’t make sense on so many levels. There is no such a thing as a fancy job or a not fancy job. If what you’re doing makes you happy, helps you to support yourself and your family, influences the people around you in a positive way and makes your community a better place, then it’s a good job for you.
This doesn’t mean that everyone should quit their corporate job and become self-employed, no no. If you like what you’re doing, if you think it’s your calling, if it feels right, you’re good at it, and it makes you happy, do it. But make sure you’re doing it because of yourself. Not because of your family, or friends, or your social status. You’re the only person in your life that you need to please and make happy. All other people are responsible for their happiness.
Hope you feel a bit empowered by this story. I just wanted to point out that it’s ok to have periods of confusion and not knowing what the future holds. Life is not a race and it’s ok to take time to figure things out. You are never “behind” your peers because everybody is walking a completely different path. Take care of yourself and stay true to who you are.
Talk to you soon,