Why are we made to feel like we have to have life all figured out?
If there's one thing I've noticed during my twenties, it's how my generation is made to feel like we have to have our lives all figured out. Why are you still single? Why aren't you married off yet? Why are you still renting? Are you going to have more children? What do you have in mind for your funeral? - Why is everybody in such a rush for us to have it all figured out? I'm not even 25 yet, and although I feel old at 24, I have an entire lifetime ahead of me to decide what I want to do with it. So far, for me, nothing that I 'planned' actually went to plan. I never planned on studying graphic design at uni. I never planned on having a bambino fresh out of uni whilst unemployed. I never planned on becoming a full time blogger. Hell, I didn't even think I'd move out of my parents home at 22. Yes I've now moved back home temporarily but that's beside the point here. Life throws the unexpected at you all of the time, and however much you think you can 'plan' it, you can't. Not really.
Is it not better to just enjoy life as it comes, and just hop on for the mysterious ride. I mean I'm not saying you can't somewhat plan your life, I always knew I wanted to go to uni but the actual decision on what I wanted to study changed so many times, and that's okay. It changed because my interests changed, which you'll find happens so often throughout life. As you grow and mature and learn new things, your tastes and ambitions will grow with you. If you suddenly decide at 40 you want to go and study something you feel really passionate about, cool. Why is it only seen as normal, and what's 'expected' of you to attend college whilst you're 18? Some people spend their entire life studying, and everything about that is normal. I'm still not sure what I want to do with my life. I know that I don't want to be, and won't be, a blogger for the rest of my life but do I have a career plan? Nope. I went from wanting to be an architect, to a graphic designer, an illustrator, a blogger... and now I'd actually quite like to take up photography! I realise that all of these careers are set within the creative industry but they are actually all so very different. My ambitions are changing all of the time, and if I wanted to take up photography for a year and then go back to blogging, that's okay. There are no rules. Things get thrown your way constantly, whether those things be pleasant surprises or maybe a bit of an obstacle course - these 'things' can completely change the way you want to live, and that's okay.
If we just spend all of our lives waiting for our life plan to come together, then are we really living? Book that spontaneous holiday you keep thinking about, spend a little more on this weeks food shop and get yourself that little treat you've had your eye on for dinner. Life isn't just about the big things, it's all the little things in the everyday too. You don't always have to have a plan and follow it like a bible. You're allowed to not know what you want to do with your life. You're allowed to ditch uni and go travelling for a year - universities aren't going anywhere, they'll still be there when you come back. We all make bad decisions, or ones we may regret throughout our lives but learning from them is how you better yourself. If you don't even attempt to do something you really want to do, then you will regret that more. You can't make a bad decision if it's something you have your heart set on and something you're going to enjoy. Life is for living and it's time people realised it. I understand that life is also about responsibility of course, but only to a certain extent. If you can still feed your family whilst going back to college to do a degree, then don't let anything stop you. Don't spend the rest of your life miserable because you felt forced into a career you didn't want. You hear stories all of the time about parents who decide their kids future for them and this is such an issue with society, it's your life, don't let someone else decide how you're going to live it.
I've spent so much of my life feeling under pressure to know exactly what I want to do with myself that I've probably spent more time stressing about it than living in the moment. I wouldn't wish to change anything now as then I wouldn't be where I am today and god forbid, without my beautiful Ru - but I would have loved to get a job abroad for a year or two as a live in nanny or something along those lines, instead of wasting three years at uni - and just to have lived a little more spontaneously, discovering new culture and actually learning new things. I'll maybe still do this one day, although I realise these kinds of things are bit more tricky once you have children. It still doesn't mean you have to stick to a life plan though, kids grow up and you still have plenty of years left to explore and take on new ventures. People need to learn to stop asking so many questions, you don't need to have an answer for everything all of the time.
How do you feel about the pressure to have your life fully planned out?
P.S. this post contains a massive overuse of the word life.