I had a conversation last night with my sister in law and realised that many people feel this way at some point in their life but it’s rare we ever talk about it.
Life – Realising getting where you want to be isn’t quite what you had in mind.
For my sister in law it’s the Army. She trained and worked hard to get in & did the same all the way through phase 1&2. She worked hard, won awards and has genuinely worked her backside off because she made the decision that the army was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Except… It’s a bit boring.
Not the whole army – just her job within it. She’s doing the sensible thing and going along the process to moving jobs so that she can be happy within her job and be where she thought she wanted to be, but not everyone is that lucky.
We tell most college and sixth form kids that they should go to uni, get a trade, go be anything they want to be! And the majority of them do. They make their decision roughly at 16/18 to study something they love, and they finish uni around age 21/22 with a degree in something that unfortunately, most of them aren’t going to use. Why? Well for a few reasons…1, what we think we want at 18 and what we want later in life are generally very different things and 2, because it’s not quite what it’s cracked up to be – but you tend to only realise this once you’ve done it for a bit.
I’m 30 now and what I want to be when I’m older is a question I’ve answered a thousand times and I’m still not sure that I know or I’m settled on just one idea. I always wanted to be a designer but what I want to design for changes with the wind!
I quit sixth form to go study media, went to uni and hated it. Worked shit jobs for years in pubs, call centres, shops, worked as a wedding organiser and for the police and none of the jobs were a good fit for me. So I went back to uni to study media thinking I was going to find out I was amazing at production or would be ready to be some media hipster…and instead came out being quite alright at graphic design, which is what I had originally gone to uni for years before.
So to make the most of it, my mind was set that I was going to have this amazing design job and work up the ranks and it was going to be cool and have great perks and is be all interesting and cultured. And it’s an alright job, I enjoy it for the most part – but it’s nothing like the life changing plan I had in mind.
Is it because we try make these decisions too early in life? I don’t know. I’ve had friends who’ve gone back and trained to be something else later in life and have given it up after a year in the job because it’s not what they thought it’d be. So here is my question…
Are we a generation who is never happy with the outcome of our decisions because we are all a bit lost and don’t really know what we want? Or, do we put our ‘dreams’ on such a high pedestal that they will never quite live up to our expectations?
We are told to dream. I’m very lucky that my parents have always had their feet firmly on the ground and have been honest with me from an early age. My mum once told me ‘90% of people don’t like their job but they do it to pay the bills, and that’s just how life works’ and I think she was right. That’s not to say we shouldn’t dream – I vowed that day to be one of the 10% and I think in a way, I am. It’s not quite what I had in mind, but I do enjoy my job. But I LOVE my blog. Thats what I want to do for the rest of my life….travel.
I think the point I’m getting at is I hadn’t really realised until lately that everyone seems to have a bit of a wobble about their decisions in life but it’s about carrying on.
Someone once said to me if you keep trying to find happiness you’ll never be content and you’ll look back and realise it’s the little things in life that make us happy.
I think he was right.
What are your thoughts? Has your dream lived up to its expectation? Did it take you a few tries to get there? Comment below!