If my 14 year old self had asked my 24 year old self where she’d be by now, she would have replied with something along the lines of, “In a high power job that she loves and is good at, with every other aspect of her life gliding peacefully alongside it.” How wrong she was. I’m not sure if it’s a bi-product of our generation that we expect life to (instantly) be the way we envisioned it all those years ago, or if it’s just my personality – that never satisfied, keep striving for more, life should be deeper than this feeling that I’ve never been able to shake.
While I put some of my frustrations about my career down to the makeup of my generation – we are so used to instant gratification: instant communication, instant uploads, instant deliveries – I can’t wholly blame the environment I’m in for the shortfalls I’ve experienced in my life. I just can’t land on my feet and I don’t know if others feel like this (because their Facebook and Instagram profiles never give this away) or if it’s just me (cheers life).
When I was a teenager I wrote millions of lists of all the things I wanted to achieve in my lifetime. I put inspirational quotes, pictures and lyrics all over my bedroom wall. I wrote in my journal every day. I felt like I was bursting with creativity, opinions and potential. I had an unshakable belief in myself: that I would go far in life, that I could impact the world somehow and that I would be deeply satisfied with my life’s path. If my life were a book, it wasn’t going to be boring. I still have that deep-set belief in myself. But for some reason, I just can’t seem to get started.
So let’s go back to the beginning. I always wanted to be the editor of a magazine. I’ve always been a reader, and, bar the past six or so years, I’ve always been a writer. So I worked my ass off at school to get the best marks I could so that I could have the option to study whatever I wanted when I got to university. I did better than I expected in my TEE, so I decided to do a double degree. I loved it. I was on the right track. I worked hard for another five and a half years. I worked full time hours as a casual sales assistant at a retail store. I realised I loved fashion and wanted to work in that field. I didn’t know what as, but I knew it was the field I wanted to get into. So again, I worked hard to achieve that: I flew interstate for job interviews and internships. I did volunteer freelance work to build up my skills. I got a fashion qualification to indicate on my CV the direction I wanted my career to take. I hounded (and I mean hounded) people for jobs. I chased down every contact I had just to get advice on my CV. I did all the right things. I never gave up. I exhausted myself. I didn’t get anywhere for a really long time. Then I moved to Melbourne and FINALLY got my foot in the door.
Now, a few months into it, I still don’t have that feeling within me that I am in the right place, doing the right thing. I don’t feel like I am particularly good at what I’m doing, and I don’t really like what I’m doing (clearly the two are linked – remember this people). I’ve found myself back to where I started, wondering when I’ll find my niche and where it will be. I’ve never been really good at anything. I’ve just been a hard worker. So, my question for the universe is how do we find our passion? How do we find our career? How do we find our happiness?
And then the rambling questions to myself and the sky continue…Am I expecting too much too soon? Is Gen Y really as impatient and bratty as Gen X would have us believe? Surely this can’t be true. Although, if it is, at least I can take comfort in the fact that there’s still hope that I’ll make it in my career before I turn 50 (because apparently this is more realistic than 24). But if that’s the case, God help me for the next 26 years.