*Warning: The next few paragraphs are as messy as the insides of my head*
How do you explain to a fresh graduate that just because you have finished your Bachelor’s, you do not get a free ticket to “We have it together” land? In fact, I doubt they are selling tickets to that land wonderland fantasy. Not to me anyway. Not now anyway.
The nature of humans is as such. You think, you want, you get and then you want more so you think more and…It becomes a cycle. Basically, what I am trying to say is that humans are rarely content with what they have. When we achieve something, we want to achieve the next thing and then the next and then the next.
Back to me, I am constantly looking for something to make me happy. When I was in University, I thought happiness would take the form of an excellent literature review grade. When I scored exceptionally high on it, I felt ecstatic until after a few days and I felt sort of “Well is this it?!” I don’t mean it to sound like I wasn’t grateful. I was obviously happy but it wasn’t “the happiness”. You know that happiness when you feel totally content. Call me naïve, but I thought I had to find that in a piece of academic work.
And when I got the results of my thesis/dissertation and my degree classification, I was elated. I remember checking the results online mid-June and I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking. But after a while, those feelings too faded away and a set of new problems/worries came my way.
Maybe, my graduation in July would make me feel like I have actually achieved something. It was nice. Fantastic actually! One of my best moments in 2014. But, the day leaves you and three months later, I don’t even really think about it.
I worked in London for 12 weeks. It was a dream come true. I finally felt like a prestigious company was interested in me and these weeks were the best and the worst weeks of 2014. They were the worst because my living arrangements were annoying but hey, I had somewhere to sleep and I met so many lovely people so that’s why I am counting it as my best weeks of 2014. I don’t live anywhere near London so the fact that I went there, away from my house for the first time in my then 20 years (I turned 21 soon after I came back from London) was a turning point in my life. I felt like a piece of me had really matured and I was so proud of myself. But again, it didn’t make me feel happy, you know, inside…
And when I landed this year long contract to work with my University, I cried of happiness because I felt like I was finally moving along in my career. Except… it hasn’t made me any happier because I realised that this is not the work I want to be doing in the long term.
Do you see the direction that I am heading?
I am greedy and I want to have my shit together now. But I won’t have it together. Why? Because I am 21. But why doesn’t that relax me? Is it awful that I want things, and fast. But what things? I have gone through many changes in 2014 and I have achieved things I never had achieved but I am not content. So maybe having more won’t make me any more content but curse me with more things to worry about.
To put it straight, I am at a crossroad in my life. I realised that if I am going to work for the rest of my life, it has to be meaningful. And what do I mean with that? I mean that I must know that what I am doing now is directly benefiting people which consequently will make our society a better place even if it is a little bit. I realised that I can’t work in an environment where I am just doing that; working with no real direction. Working for this invisible entity and feeling like I am not doing something to actually give back to my society. Then I realised that the kind of work I want to do is either in international development with a focus on global health or health promotion/education either internationally or nationally. So then I started worrying about postgraduate degrees in this field. I got shocked when I saw the fees and the lack of funding. My thought process turned into, “okay I should start by volunteering and work at the same time”. Then I got an epiphany and decided in my head to volunteer abroad on projects related to my interests. Now the problem is, when? In October 2015 right after my contract ends. But then I’ll come back to England and I haven’t got a job lined up for me? So what? Maybe I will have accumulated contacts during my time abroad and somehow find myself working for an organisation that I never thought of before. You have to first give it a go…
I am so afraid of being stuck. The thought of being 24 with no solid career or a career that interests me is terrifying but maybe I am acting like that 12 year old who thinks 16 year olds are grown-ups when they haven’t got a clue about anything. Yes, I think that’s what it is. I must humanise people and realise that being 24 or 25 does not mean having your shit together. Nor does being 40 mean you can buy that ticket I mentioned in the first paragraph. We are humans so maybe we should never have our shit together. I must just jump into something. You won’t believe, I have literally 4 different alternative career pathways in my head and it is a daily battle deciding which one is more “effective”.
You see, I understand that I am irrational but I can’t help feeling this way. I can’t help feel like I must give myself deadlines and be accomplished by the age of 25 because that’s logic isn’t it…isn’t it…isn’t it. I am too afraid to take a solid decision about my life, scared that it is the wrong one. Yes, I just realised that I do not have control over me. My worries are controlling me and that’s worrying. Oh no, I am worrying again. My worries are still winning. Damn it!