Reevaluating your life is an inevitable part of growing up – it usually occurs in one’s 20s, and I can certainly relate. At 21 years old, my own personal reflection led me to a momentary mental breakdown but ultimately culminated in some kind of understanding about work, love, and relationships.
After my dream of becoming a renowned journalist was crushed and my diploma in hand, I reluctantly returned to my childhood desk. With an unpaid Fed Loans bill looming over me and no prospects for income, what could a 21-year-old with waning career options do? Make the best of it – that’s exactly what she did!
[Learn: Find Your Purpose]
She is determined to start a life that not many can relate to, and I have been attempting for the past year to explain why my income will never be consistent or stable. Even though insurance isn’t an option anymore, I still travel often despite the lack of compensation; yet somehow my mother always manages to find time in her busy schedule just so she can make sure my bed is disheveled each night. Despite all these struggles, I’m living on purpose – refusing to succumb to societal expectations of money and steady employment!
As I saw my college chums struggle to shape their career paths, it was a steep learning curve for many. From loves won and squandered to jobs that didn’t work out as planned, it seemed like nothing went right. Yet despite the despair of letting go of our dreams — here’s what matters: It is possible for us to realize our ambitions if we never give up hope! Here are some powerful lessons from this tumultuous journey so far:
Be a Dreamer
From a tender age, I was an imaginative dreamer – just as most children are. But unlike many of my peers who outgrew their aspirations, mine stuck with me for life. Now I’m here to urge you: don’t be discouraged by the eccentricity or enormity of your dreams and keep striving towards them! After all, someone has to make our wildest visions possible; why not let it be you? Let determination guide your actions and take comfort in knowing that no matter what happens – things always seem to work themselves out in the end.
[Read: “30 Things I’m Happy I Tried and Learn Before 30″]
Embrace Your Age
It usually takes people an hour or so to realize I’m young. After they do, the conversation goes something like this: “How old are you?” “22.” “Shouldn’t you be at a bar?” And my response is always no because I don’t actually drink alcohol. Despite how difficult it can be, over time I’ve learned to use my age as an advantage instead of feeling embarrassed about it. It’s not every day that someone who is 22 years old has enough confidence and fortitude to pitch business ideas to people twice their age!
Always assess your circumstances. If you sense something is off, or that job you believed would propel you to success isn’t living up to its potential, carefully contemplate the situation and identify what it is exactly that you want out of life. Had I ignored the warning signs telling me not to spell an editor’s name wrong, chances are I’d still be lugging my camera around capturing footage of trees for “news.”
[Read: 7 Ways to Make Yourself Look Older at Work]
You’re in the Exact Right Place
Even though you may feel despondent and overwhelmed now, you’re exactly where you need to be at this moment. Your dream internship was all that mattered to you, as well as your ideal partner. But things didn’t turn out the way we envisioned them; still, there must be a good reason for it unfolding like this – one day soon enough the answer will reveal itself!