There comes a time in life where you begin to reevaluate your work, love, and personal relationships. This pondering usually ends in a mental breakdown and happens in your 20s—I was 21. That’s when I (kind of) figured everything out.
With diploma in hand, and my dreams to be the next big journalist dashed, I packed my boxes and headed back to my childhood desk. It’s then I asked, what’s a 21-year-old to do with a drowning career and a Fed Loans bill with no hopes of getting paid? She deals.
[Learn: Find Your Purpose]
She gets her act together and starts a life not many understand. I’ve spent the last year explaining that I will never have a steady income, and insurance is a thing of the past. I spend too much money traveling to jobs that pay too little, and I’ve succumbed to my mother, who unmakes my bed every night. But I’m living and I didn’t fold to the pressures of money and a secure job.
I watched as my college friends fumbled to find employment and failed to overcome their fears. I watched as they loved and lost, as they worked for dead ends, then chose back-up plans. I watched and I learned, and I’m here to say that our dreams can come true. This is a work in progress, but here is what I’ve learned so far:
Be a Dreamer
From a young age, I was a dreamer, like many kids are. Unfortunately for my parents, I never grew out of it. Your dreams might seem crazy, but embrace them anyway. In the end, someone has to do it, right? It always works out for someone.
Embrace Your Age
It usually takes people an hour or so to realize I’m young. Once they do, the conversation proceeds: “How old are you?” “22.” “Shouldn’t you be at a bar?” “I don’t actually drink.” This is a hard thing to cope with, but over time I’ve learned to embrace my age and use it as a tool. Not many people can say they pitch business ideas to people twice their age and do it with confidence.
Evaluate every situation. If you feel things aren’t right, or that job you thought would push you to success is falling short, evaluate. Think of what you really want and listen to the signs. If I never spelled an editor’s name wrong, I’d be lugging around a camera shooting footage of trees for “news.”
You’re in the Exact Right Place
It might not feel like it now, and you’re probably crying in a ball on the floor, but you’re in the exact right place at the exact right time. Sure that internship was all you ever wanted, and he had to be Mr. Right. But it wasn’t, and he wasn’t. There is a reason, and one day you’ll stumble onto it.