An article I have written for the online magazine, Globe of Love, weighing up my options in life and how we should take the time when making serious life long commitments, learning and being true to ourselves.
My boss at work constantly reminds me that “I am young”. Being 22 and just graduated from University, I definitely don’t feel young; in fact I feel the opposite. Graduate schemes, mortgage payment plans and the pressure to settle down is constantly being pushed down my throat. It seems now there is no time for me to sit and allow things to happen, but rather an impatience to do it all now, efficiently (and at the touch of my fingertips for my convenience.) I am reminded that there are other graduates fighting for similar positions as me in my chosen career path, and that all the good men out there have girlfriends. It puts me in a position which makes me feel uncomfortable, inadequate and lost.
I understand I am no teenager anymore. Soon I’ll be the big 30 and wonder where my youth days have gone, worrying about the occasional grey hair and my biological clock ticking in my own head. But seriously? 8 years are not going to pass in the blink of an eye. 8 years is 70126 hours. Fair enough less than half of that time I will be sleeping, but that still leaves nearly 46 thousand hours left, which is the same amount of time it would take for me, (if I never stopped for food or rest) to walk around the world 5 times. With that in mind, I now think yes, I am young and I ask myself, what’s the rush? It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon and my life right now consists of the various stretching and training before that event.
When will I be starting this marathon? For me, this answer is difficult. Being an avid traveller and a nomad, I enjoy having the freedom to be able to leave home and escape to a certain place and experience a different world. I have accepted the reality that I will always want to travel, no matter what age I am. So rather than force myself to join the rabbit race immediately, I have decided to explore other options of life I may not have next necessarily taken up before. As well as, take the time to explore an area of Asia that I feel, will develop me further into the person I aim to be, before I launch myself into a full time career. At University, my heart was set on being an actress, to work in theatre and have my own glitzy dressing room. Now? This isn’t the case. Through involving myself in various other options at university, I have learnt I love Applied Theatre, Radio, TV and Creative Writing. This in turn, has led me to gain an internship with this wonderful magazine, to become a radio presenter for a local radio station and to develop my blogging skills in order to interest, entertain and inspire other people. Because I have decided to develop new skills and build on ones I already have, I am learning so much more about my individual writing style and work ethic that I would never have appreciated before. Which has then made me recognise an important aspect to my future career; that I will never be able to have a career on one set path, but rather dip my toes in a few.
Many people have no idea what they want to do in life. The only way you can figure this out is through trying out new things and exploring various options. Only through trial and error can we learn what is right for us. It’s like we’re back in primary school, trying to put a circle block into a square frame. It won’t work until we have tried out a number of shapes to see which one fits.
Although I am writing mainly in reference to taking a few side paths before my career, I am also referring to marriage and parenting. With parents as young as the age of 12, and some as old as 60, it seems that age is just a number. Although, parenting and marriage are serious lifelong commitments that once started, can never be broken. So before taking that commitment, one must learn to take the time to explore who they are themselves, before forming a partnership and then taking the responsibility to create and look after a whole new person. However, circumstances vary on the relationship, the partner and how comfortable one another are with each other, as well as, if you are ready: emotionally, financially, mentally and physically. Similar to my attitude towards my career, give yourself time to explore your options, to allow yourself to grow as a person and make an informed decision, before committing yourself to a job with a contract, partner or child.
There is no “right” or “wrong” age to start a career, get married, or have a child. It is down to yourself and if you feel you are ready to do so confidently and appropriately. At the end of the day, “You yourself have to be the master and the pupil”. – Buddha, Vispassana, 1949