I don't have a single clue what I'm doing.
I don't have to.
I’m 32, and I don’t have a single clue what I’m doing!
Don’t worry [MUM], that doesn't mean I don't have ambitions, and goals in my future that I want to achieve, because I really do. I just don't have it all worked out just yet.
Not quite. Does anyone? I’m not sure.
If Facebook posts and stop-and-chats with old school friends are anything to go by, most people seem to have life all figured out. It’s all going swimmingly. I just don’t buy it.
For some people I’m sure life IS sweet. They are in the job they want, have a happy relationship, and maybe some perfect kids/cats. That’s great and I’m very happy for you.
The truth is, for young women (and I’m sure men: I just don’t have that same experience to share), there is a tremendous amount of pressure on us to have ‘it’ all worked out pretty early. Despite being endlessly told not to grow up too fast, not rush into anything and enjoy our youth because it's the 'best time of our lives'; everything else tells us the exact opposite.
Decide what you want to do with the rest of your life before you leave school.
You're 16 you should know what career you want by now, come on!
Get a further education.
Get that job.
Get married, have those 2.4 children.
Get a mortgage.
Get a pension.
Write your will.
WOAHHHHH there. Can we just take a minute to ENJOY life? And see where it takes us? When I approached turning 30 I did so with not so much trepidation, more like abject terror. I focused solely on what I hadn't achieved. The rules of relationships and expectations put on me by every book, film, magazine article around me. I hadn't found my dream job, my perfect home, I wasn't married and I didn't have children. What had I achieved then?
That’s right: Nothing.
So instead of wallowing on my apparent failures I decided to forget about it and have a big party where we all dressed up as 80’s icons instead. (That was definitely one of my better and more glitter-inducing ideas).
I got sick though. Not that night. Although I did mix my drinks and eat faaaaar too many potato wedges. I became ill in my mid-twenties. It suddenly didn’t matter what job I had, or what colour of paint I’d buy for the lounge; it mattered that I stay alive long enough to wallow in the joy of choosing paint colours.
Illness, no matter how seemingly insignificant to those on the outside, can be genuinely life-changing. It can be all but impossible to simply fall back into old routines or old ways of thinking, because for you everything has changed. That can be very hard for those around you to understand, let alone accept.
That’s OK too! Don’t push them to, and more importantly don’t push yourself. You are doing the best you can so just keep at it. Much like our defunct bowels things will work themselves out eventually. Just be patient. A patient, patient if you will.
After all, your [insert current decade of age here] are the best time of your life.