As I sit at home in the evenings, I scroll through seemingly endless feeds of people my age doing anything from getting engaged, married, having children, working their dream job… the list goes on. Often this will happen as I am eating ice cream from the tub in my underwear, while Always Sunny plays in the background. What a comparison, huh?
It may indeed sound that, being 25 and all, I am having a quarter life crisis of some sort, but no. Not entirely. Maybe momentarily. More important however is the lesson I have learnt, or rather am learning.
We put so much focus on reaching some kind of finish line, that we forget to really enjoy it. A little while ago I was told I needed to care less. Completely out of context to this, but absolutely something worth applying to most things in life, don’t ya think?
Obviously we have to take care in life, but not without the freedom to take risks which, yes, may well prove to be mistakes later down the line. You never know, they might even send you rocketing to success! How’s that for positivity? My point is really this; instead of getting sucked into photos online from people I don’t really talk to anymore, I need to get out and experience my life for whatever it is. Sure I’ll double click in approval of these images and maybe leave a comment of “congratulations!”, or “must see you soon!”, followed by a quick catch up, but then it’s back to the real world. Contact that PR. Write a review. Just message a mate for crying out loud, but also embrace those moments sat alone doing nothing in particular. Success is not about being busy all the time, but being conscious of your actions, taking the time to consider when to put the work in, and when to take a break.
Let’s talk about work for a moment. I think the thing that gets to me most is people living out their dream role. It’s not that I’m feeling deflated about not working mine, it’s more that I don’t even know what it is. I have never really had a clue what grown up Sam would be up to, and here I am in what used to be my sister’s room back home trying to figure it all out.
Of course there is the whole writing thing. This is something I enjoy, so why then have I not pursued it as a career? The quick answer? Fear.
If this is something I really love, there is fear of rejection and even the realisation that I might not be all that good at it. I’m not a confident person, so every time I put something out there for people to read I am sweating buckets, and that’s just posting it out to beloved friends and anyone else who happens to come across it. Imagine having to send it off for someone to scrutinise before a whole bunch of people, potentially across the world get to tear it apart.
You need to care less. Yes. I hear you and I am working on it. Not only professionally but generally in all aspects of life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to let go my inhibitions entirely, but I am absolutely going to loosen the reins and hopefully give my shoulders some well needed relief – literally and metaphorically. I might even find new things I love, and finally be able to say what my dream job is, because yes, writing; I like it a lot, but there could always be something else. I could do it for a week straight and hate it. That’s another fear. At the moment though this is all very much fear of the unknown, so of course the key is to get out there and give it a go. At some point.
As for marriage and children, I am very much a long way from that right now. At the end of the day I’m too busy trying to figure myself out to even begin to understand any boy in my life.
Side note. Isn’t it funny that at 25, I’m still referring to them as boys? Get me a man goddamn it!
In all seriousness though, please don’t. Not only do I find it really awkward when people try to set me up with their friends (further side note: if you really must set me up with someone, do it on the sly so that I can just imagine that we just happened to fall for each other – please and thank you) I’m really rather enjoying having the freedom to live for myself.
Sure spooning is nice, but going somewhere or doing something just because that’s what I feel like doing in the moment is even better. I’m not saying that this is impossible while in a relationship, but I think there are some important steps to be made on your own before settling down. These might not be the same steps for everyone, and it could be that you’re already in a relationship and still figuring things out with a partner who is able to support that. Hey, hat’s off to you, gotta love a healthy balance of intimacy and freedom!
It might even be a whole different situation entirely, but that’s exactly it. Nothing is simple, or supposed to happen a certain way. We are all on different paths. Some of them will look similar, some may cross or perhaps join together, some may even tail off unexpectedly. Still, as many twists and turns, or hell, plain old straight paths we take, we are forever in control of where we end up, whether that be for a few moments or a lifetime. There does not have to be one end goal. What you achieve does not have to amount to one big thing. I mean, it can, but it doesn’t have to. It could be that you got that promotion, or maybe you started your own perfect little family or bought your dream home. Maybe you raised awareness for something that people didn’t know about. Maybe you sat down and wrote a blog post. Maybe you didn’t cry this week. Maybe you did. Maybe you got out of bed. All of these achievements, no matter how you may rank them in your head, are important. Yes, even crying. Hiding your feelings isn’t necessarily being in control. Being conscious is being in control.
I guess the conclusion I’m coming to with this is to just live in the moment, but don’t forget to take things into perspective. Of course I am still going to scroll through Instagram and eat ice cream in my underwear, but what the hell is wrong with that? That’s my down time and nobody is going to shame me for it. I simply won’t allow it. However I will take each post with a pinch of salt, or take some inspiration from it. Gone are the days of passively scrolling, if I ever find myself doing that, I have some unfollowing to do. In all seriousness, if what you are seeing is not bringing you joy then there is no point in seeing it. Tailor your feed to keep you happy, make decisions to keep life interesting (whatever that means for you), but most importantly, and I cannot stress this enough, keep in touch with your loved ones, because you never know when you will need them most.
I know this post has merely touched upon a few topics that could be bigger, but hey, welcome to the scrambled brain of a 25 year old. Maybe I’ll break them down further somewhere down the line, but for now this is me, letting off some steam and hoping that maybe you can relate.