Friday, March 25, 2011

Why does reality always get in my way?

Thank you guys for your nice comments! I might put up photos when I get them, I’m a bit embarrassed though! But seriously, you guys made my day :)

This past week has been a crazy, confusing one. I have been on top of the world one day, feeling like I can do anything I put my mind to; but then the next day seeing just how limited my options are and crashing all over again.

I don’t think that I am very good at this whole growing up thing. I see my friends; with their fancy office jobs, their new things, their stability and think: ‘why couldn’t I be satisfied with what they have?’

I feel like I missed out on the graduation ceremony. The one where all of my friends got promoted to the role of ‘adult’, and I’m stuck here in this in-between phase.

I just can’t be realistic. It’s not who I am. Or rather it WAS, a long time ago, but it’s not anymore.

We’re told when we are younger that we can do anything we put our minds to. But as soon as we pass the age of fifteen, we settle. Because that’s what we’re expected to do. I tried to. I really did. I went to uni like a good little girl, got my degree that could set me up in an office job for life; but then realised that I CANNOT WORK IN AN OFFICE and went back to do another degree. Put an adult life on hold for a while.

At Christmas I realised I only have one year left before that’s it. My CAREER would begin. In 12 months. So I went part-time to drag it out that one year longer.

I don’t know if I want to be a teacher. Some part of me really does of course. It’s great. It’s rewarding. But then another part of me wants more.

Sorry for harping on and on about the same subject. But this is what I have been thinking about constantly these last few weeks.

I don’t understand my friends at all. I wish I did, but I don’t. Where did the kids go that knew that they could do anything they dreamed? When was a grown-up job the only option?

They’re happy. They’re really happy actually.

But I can’t be happy that way.

I don’t want to ever have an office-based career. I don’t ever want to have a stable 9-5 job. I want excitement, passion, adventure. I want to travel the world. I want to create. I want to change lives. And yes, I’m pretty resigned to poverty as well.

One thing I hate is this indecisiveness. This fear. Because it’s all well and good to say all of this; but what if I try and fail? What if I end up ears deep in debt, wishing I had settled for safe? So I’m talking, researching and slowly testing out the options. But I’m also finishing off my degree.

It doesn’t feel like the best of both worlds right now. It feels like a juggling act. Half-halfheartedly doing both and something has to give.

I wrote a list the other day. Of all the things that I’m good at. All of the things I would love to do with my life. And it didn’t help me at all.

It is the same list I would have written ten years ago.

It is completely unrealistic. Crazy, even.

I do NOT like not knowing where I am going. It is something I have always avoided. It is scary. Very, very scary.

Exciting as well, some days, because of all the opportunities stretching out before me. Suffocating at others, because those ‘opportunities’ may never be feasible.

So I ask you, dear readers. Do any of you have any advice? Is anyone else in the same boat? Have any of you given a big middle-finger salute to the world and just gone for it, realism be damned?



IfiHadaHammer said...

acting like an adult is overrated!

Jo said...

I chose my sanity and happiness over material comforts and have been pursuing my artistic dreams. Hopefully soon, because I do love what I do so much, that will bring about the material comforts. ;)
No matter what, it's better than the sinking feeling in my stomach that the 9 to 5 job I once attempted gave me every single day I was there. No regrets!

Swiss said...

You really sound on the right track..

And if you know WHAT you want to do then by all means go for it with everything you have; you really can't fail as long as you stick with it.

It can only hurt if you don’t. When a person goes against their gut and follows the status quo - just because it's safe and sensible - I believe they cut off their connection to God and what is truly living within them.

It's not easy when your path diverges from others. It calls attention to what you are doing. And might make others question what their spirit is trying to tell them. It’s also possible that the right path for them is working this office job and having babies. It doesn’t matter, because everyone has their own purpose. As far as your mission is concerned: history shows us that really great advances (personally and for society as a whole) were not made by taking the path well traveled.

From personal experience, I can tell you that the best things I have and the most fulfilling experiences of my life (thus far) have come from that decision to jump with no idea what lay beneath. It sounds like your heart (and gut) are telling you to pursue something.

Let the cliff-diving begin!!

(If you need some fuel you might try volunteering for 6 months or a year in a different country - where you learn a new language and help people. There is no better fuel for the heart, for the pen ((you are a great writer)), or for giving you space to think about what your mission is in life.)

Meher said...

You should never settle down for anything less than what you deserve. When I had to start my graduation a year back, I was hell bent on doing media studies and journalism, cause creativity is where my heart lies. But my parents and some pesky relatives emotional blackmailed me into getting into engineering cause I was awesome in science. After 2 months of it, when I couldn't take it any longer, that's what I did. Stood for myself, quit what i didn't like, and now, I'm going after my passion. It hasn't felt any better.

a work in progress said...

i left home at 16 and bummed around for a couple of years, sleeping on floors, travelling around the illegal free festival scene of the early 90s, just getting by. Then at 18 I signed on the dole. Big aspirations, huh? I knew I wasn't ready to commit to my degree, so i ran away from the parental pressure. I worked so many crap low paid jobs blah blah. Went back to college (like TAFE i guess) to do the qualifications that would allow me to go to uni. I got a place at a prestigious uni. I was 22. I bailed AGAiN. I just wasn't SURE know?
Back to working a million different jobs...I started my degree when i was 33 years old. But i told myself it wasn't a degree...I was doing one unit at a time via Open Uni, working casual (full-time hrs but no contract) and had a rental home with no lease...all so i could leave at a moments notice ;) I'm still here, almost 7 yrs later though! And now I AM committed to my degree, though even that is constantly being tweaked and honed and gradually gradually I am getting closer to being the me i wish to be. I still have no money really, and I have nothing to show (materially) for my time on earth so far. But you know what? I am doing something that feels RIGHT. I have NO DEBT. (which is more than anyone with a home loan can say...)

YOU do what is right for YOU, WHEN it is right for you...

Fuck what everyone else thinks. Nietzsche said to live one's real life you should be willing to do every second of it again. Over and over. for eternity. And be ok with that. All the good AND all the bad. I'm ok with that, and it sounds like you will be too :)

sorry for massive comment!

I am so glad I found your blog :)

Hugs xoxoxo

jillian m. said...

i share your thoughts about wanting passion and adventure in my career. only difference is that i'm actually working a very passionless office job, haha. but i'm generally satisfied with it at the moment. probably because i've had such terrible jobs prior to this that i'm very appreciative of this one.

all i can say is, research. utilize the internet, books, articles, whatever. figure out what careers you would enjoy doing. for example, are you good at writing and do you like visiting tons of different places?places? maybe you should consider travel journalism? something along those lines. to do something wonderful and creative and fulfilling, you'll most likely have to think outside the box.

in the meantime, i'm still searching for my "dream".

p.s. you have such relatable posts!

~BB~ said...

I am in the same situation! I graduate with my degree at the end of the year, and I have NO idea what I am going to do, nor do I know WHAT I want to do. It's terrifying! I feel so much pressure to do the 9-5 thing, but my artistic side screams inside at the thought of doing that my whole adult life. I'm like you - I need more! I want to travel (with more than two weeks vacay) and be thrilled by my chosen career path, not settled into it. Needless to say - I'm taking it one day at a time ;-). Hang in there - it all works out!

Mandy said...

You will get it all straightened out in the end! I went to college and grad school and knew EXACTLY what I wanted...unlucky for me the job world didn't need another one of what I wanted to at the moment I settled and am working that 9-5 (although I am more of a 7:30-4:30 type deal). I had friends who kept pursuing more degrees and I just couldn't take the studying/tests/going to classes...I wanted my independence and something to show for what I had already earned (and I HATE tests big time-I freak out and study in excessive amounts).

I am still pursuing my initial dream and hope to eventually have my dream job, I just need to realize that it may not happen in the next couple years, or even 10 years (that one is a bit harder to grasp!) day you will just have a light bulb go off and you will know what you are meant to do and what will please you in life and how to attain these dreams and aspirations! Keep dreaming big!

Googlover/keishua said...

this post speaks to my life. I am in the same spot. fumbling around with what I want to do. I am not really office material. I mean I can do it but I am social creature and i need to fly. The thing is when you know there is more to life-you want it. You can't help your heart wants to sing. so, like you I am trying to understand how I can make a living and make love to life at the same time. we'll get there.

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

You need to do what will make you happy no matter what anyone else says. What is the point of life? Why would you want to do work that bores you when you can do work that makes you happy?

Tiq said...

I can so relate to this post.
Just don't give up. Believe in yourself. One step at a time dear. Once you got the rhythm, you'll work your way up. Trust me

vintch said...

you're already halfway there:) explore your passions every single day and they will lead you toward a career, i just know it:)

becky said...

If it helps, I can't work in an office job---unless it's a terribly exciting office job because the cause is good---like working at a publishing house or something similar. I wholeheartedly commend you for going back on your degree---that is brave and adventurous all in itself. I wish I could offer some sound advice but oh-so-sadly, I am in the same position. I used to love English Literature, believed it to be my absolute passion yet I feel like six semesters at uni have quashed it a little bit. But then I go into bookshops and read things I want to read and have little, theoretical epiphanies in the library and it is there again, that passion. If I have learned anything at all it is that it cannot be passionate all the time---that there are ups and downs with labours of love even if they truly, truly are made up of that---love. But you know what? I have a year left and then I have to start my career, too. Or at least choose one. (I thank myself, sometimes, for choosing a degree which doesn't tie me down in any way. Then at other times, I totally despair of myself, wishing I could have been a physicist or something. You're right, it truly is a juggling act). Maybe for the mean-time we could both keep blogging about how we are in the same place---because I like your words and your sentiments and I don't think I often see a blogger I connect to quite as much as you/your blog. You'll find your career, you know. Even if it is a career made out of doing everything you have always wanted to. That's realistic, you know.

Marie said...

I really don't know what to say, I'm also trying to figure out what I really want in life.

Have a great weekend!:D

***** Marie *****

Krystal said...

i think the whole stable 9-5 job thing is such a weird doesn't have to be life. if you can't settle for that then you can't - and they probably secretly envy you anyway, i know i would!

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

I feel you!
wanting more passion and adventures as I journey this life!
All the best to you~*

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

I will tell you a secret: I'm 30 and I still haven't figured out how to grow up yet. I have friends my age with kids, but I still feel like I'm 22 (and luckily I only look 25 or so). When I have crushes on boys, I daydream about kissing them, nothing more than that. But what I've learned over all these years is that the moment I try to do just one thing, I'm unhappy. So I've decided that I'm the type that will always need to do a few things. I'm going to open an etsy store and be a freelance writer and maybe work for a food-justice organization and bake and blog and have my own company. I need them all to feel like myself and be fulfilled. I know how you feel, I've been there -- I'm still there. I think sometimes you just have to know that even though your path isn't the same as the one your friends took, it doesn't make it a lesser path (actually, I think people like you and me are what this world really needs). Explore what you want to do. All of it.

Deidre said...

Definitely don't let yourself be boxed in!

Also my advice on the whole last of uni thing is don't worry about your marks. Focus on internships and volunteering.

I am resigned to having a "real" job for a few years in hopes that afterwards I'll be able to live more of a dream job later...but I am still holding out for a job a love and a job that'll make a difference.

I also hate not knowing where I am going to be in the next month...which is a constant reality for me being unemployed.

Ash said...

Hmm same boat. You said you wrote a list of all the things you want to do with your life and that "It is completely unrealistic. Crazy, even." But, I think there is always time to accomplish those crazy dreams. My mother in law is in her fifties and considering getting certified to teach cycling. She's a physics teacher. My dad works with insurance, and he's been working for years on opening a custard shop. I'm going to nursing school, but some day, I really want to go to culinary school. Like one of the other commenters said don't box yourself in! Follow your intuition and your heart, because following anything else will just make you miserable.

Mil said...

If you are really drawn to teaching, then why not give it a try. Today they say folks may have several careers in their lives. Just because you're doing one thing now doesn't mean it will be that forever. It sounds like you thrive on people connections and not pushing paper, so focus on that. I'd say I'm quite in the same boat lately. Knowing I want to change but not quite sure if I'm on the right path. Have you ever thought about humanitarian work? PS: I tagged you to tell the world seven things about you in my blog.

Alison Gibson said...

I'm graduating in two and a half months and it is a very scary thought! I love the idea of having a job I care about, but at the same time I love the idea of having a job I don't care about so that I have more time for family and friends and the hobbies that I love. I find that when people really love their careers they are often much less likely to leave work at work. For me I guess, becuase the stuff I love doing is never going to pay me - writing, music, art - I'm quite happy thinking that I might have a boring 9-5 job for a while which I can not give two hoots about when I'm not there. I guess I just think that being content with a career doesn't necessarily mean being passionate about a job.

Mocha Mornings said...

Hi! I am totally the same way. Give me something exciting; 9-5 in a little corner will not do. I don't want an office job, I don't want a boss, etc. I want to create my own concept that makes the world a better place and allows me to be the boss. I say follow your dreams, no matter how wild.

Krystal said...

p.s. thanks for your note on the feminism post, it was good to read!

Aquí said...

I love reading through your blog! This is a lovely post! Follow each other? Let me know!
xx Aquí

Kimbirdy said...

oh kaylia, i could not agree with you more! seriously, everything you said here is EXACTLY what i think about all the time. i'm 28 and i'm on my third career, because i still haven't found something i love to do. i think it's so hard being a grown up, and i look at my friends and think, "we're the same age?!" because they own houses, and have kids, and have stable jobs, and they're even planning for retirement! i am so far from that life, ...but i'm glad. i really don't want my life to look like that at all. i love the freedom to have adventures, i love change and variety, and i never want my career and my free time to be separated. i mean, i don't want to have a career and then hobbies. i want my hobbies/joys/passions to somehow be a full time experience that pay my bills, you know? and figuring out how to do that is really hard.

but it's not impossible! i know people, in real life, who have successfully made their hobbies a full time job. they all say it took about 4-5 years before they could quit side jobs and make something profitable of their passions, but they did it. i am extremely inspired by these people and i am working towards that reality.

one thing that has helped me TREMENDOUSLY is going through "the artist's way" book. don't be fooled by the title, it's not for people who are already artists. it's really for everybody who has dreams for a better life in the career world. i highly recommend you go through it too. i just can't say enough how helpful it has been for me.

Sarah said...

Thanks for your comment on my post a while back. :) I feel you 100% on this issue. The thing that I had to do to determine which direction to take was sit down and let fear go and just imagine... If I could do anything with no thought for money or providing for myself, what would I want to do all day? And there were a couple of things. That scary moment of true honesty with myself (and a willingness to move forward even if my dreams meant being poor) has allowed me to be happier in the past few weeks than I have been in YEARS. The more honest you are with yourself about what you want to do, the more confidence you will have in taking that path.