About a month ago, I half-vented, half wrote a post about having no idea what I was doing with my life and expressing the endless frustration at people telling me to “just buy a house” instead of renting. It was a brain dump of sorts, but it was a brain dump that many of you guys resonated with. It was so refreshing to read through the comments; some of you were experiencing similar feelings, with others having gone through it, came out of it and regretted nothing. Best of all were the sass queens instructing me to go with my gut feeling, a piece of advice that that can never be underestimated.
After reading through the comments and having enjoyed multiple beautifully written posts of a similar ilk by the babe that is Sophie Milner (www.fashionslave.co.uk), I started thinking about how rushed we are to decide how we’re going to do everything, all before we’ve had a chance to experience – well, much of anything. To give you some background on my situation, I went to uni for four years and I’m now back living with my grandparents, trying to juggle my blog and my job and deciding exactly how everything will balance out going forward. Until May, I won’t have even been back at work for a year, yet I feel an overarching – if not always verbalised – pressure to know. Know when I’m going to do this, how I’m going to do that, where I will be in 5 years and if my credit rating will be as good as my Uber rating (poor joke, that I do know).
At the same time as we’re supposed to be saving for a mortgage and plotting our ascent up the career ladder, we’re also supposed to be fulfilling the role of the reckless traveller, exploring the globe and shagging a lad from Sheffield after a Full Moon Party in Thailand. ‘That’s what your twenties are for!’, we’re told, ‘For being irresponsible and reckless! For enjoying yourself! For having no worries and no commitments!’ Yet in the same breath, we also being told that house prices are only going to keep rising and shouldn’t you open an ISA? And London may be expensive but really, the best job opportunities are there so consider a move now or regret it.
At the same time as coming to terms with my incomprehensible student debt and the never-ending interest trail that will follow me as if I were a giant, post-grad slug, I’m also supposed to be drinking it up and spending like crazy before the REAL WORLD comes and bites me in the ass.
Entertaining a slight tangent, can we just talk about the infamous REAL WORLD that promises to pounce on every young person without prior warning? When are we fully initiated into the ‘real world’? Does it come when we wake up at 5am for the soul-destroying Next sale, purchasing magnolia lampshades and “inspirational” wall quotes we don’t need? Or does it come when we’re hassling BT every weekend for a better deal on our broadband? Or does it simply come when there is somebody around us, young enough to be condescended to? My tax returns, direct debits, rent payments and long-term love/hate relationship with Virgin Media all seem to scream ‘real world’ status, but I’m still waiting for the stamp of approval from somebody who wears a North Face jacket every day.
But fucking deep breath, because there is no rush. As much as we’re told we must be living recklessly whilst planning to have it all, we should be living to our own timelines, and not those forced upon us. Whilst I want to say that I’m so obsessed with building a career that I don’t make enough time to have fun, the reality is that I’m so scared of not building a career, everything else gets pushed aside. I can’t go out and get pissed on a Saturday night, because what if I’m too hungover to shoot on Sunday and I get set back a week? Will I miss opportunities that could lead to progression? Am I putting the brakes on building my future? Everything feels 100 miles per hour, but I, as much as anybody else in the same situation, just need to remember that there is time. And I don’t have a plan. And I probably won’t for a while – if ever. Let’s just hope when I’m finally welcomed into the ‘real world’, it doesn’t come as too much of a shock…