Okay Millennials, here we are, in our 20’s and 30’s not pursuing the things that we want to pursue. I don’t just mean big dreams that we had when we were younger, like becoming famous or an astronaut or a Princess (just me?). I mean creating the life you always wanted.
I’m sure many of you can identify with the fact that there is some part of your life, however big or small, that you wish were different.
We all have grand ideas, make bucket lists long enough to wrap around the world, and daydream about a life much different than the one we have. Or we just want to switch into a different career or pick up a new hobby or meet a new group of friends but for some reason we don’t.
I have heard plenty of my friends say things like “that would be an awesome job” or “how do I get that lifestyle” or even simply “must be nice” in reference to some way another person is living.
Hell, I’ve said a few of those things multiple times today.
Even though I like the life I have right now – living with my kick-ass parents, hanging out with my fun loving friends, having the perfect work life balance with a wonderful manager – it is never what I wanted. I can’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I can’t even see myself doing this for another year.
I know I’m not the only one.
So, why not make a change Right now?
While we’re still young, have no responsibilities, and are able to take risks. I promised myself that I would never get complacent. That I would just live the life that I want to, not the life that was easiest.
But here I am (again) defeatedly asking myself the question, what am I doing?
Why don’t we go after what we really want? We don’t because we’re scared. Trust me when I say I’m really scared too. We are scared of giving up the comfortable, mundane, typical life we have now. We convince ourselves that this is the life we want. Because it is easy to.
It is much easier to live a life that’s routine and comfortable. You’re not scared of what will come next because it’s fairly predictable. You have somehow convinced yourself you “have it all figured out.”
You know what the next 10 years will look like and it looks fine to you. When in actuality, you have no idea and can never predict what curve-ball life will throw at you next.
If this complacency wasn’t bad enough, it makes you lazier as time goes by. We have become so routine that we don’t challenge ourselves or even try to change. There’s no effort to make the things that we don’t like about our lives any better. We think because it is “fine” or “good enough,” we don’t need to try.
Society is at fault too.
Society has somehow convinced us that if we don’t start now, there is something wrong with us. If you didn’t have it figured out years ago, carving a career for ourselves, you’re not on the right track.
We for some reason have bought into the idea that all of our steps have to be figured out right now.
We are told we’re not allowed to take risks because it is a detriment to our future. We’ve been brainwashed into believing that the corporate nine to five lifestyle or job you’re working now is the path. We believe that it will magically disappear if you walk away from it and take a risk.
Not only are we scared of not being on our way to the next big raise or promotion, we’re scared of the judgement. Society will judge you for your actions. They will look down on you for not also buying into the notion that they have already bought into. The notion that you need to “establish yourself” now.
I know plenty of people who shake their heads at those who pick up and take a year off to travel. Or those courageous enough to be pursuing their dream of becoming something unconventional like an actor, or novelist, or dancer, or pianist, or freelance artist.
People looked down on me for quitting my job and taking a year off to just do me. “What are you doing?” they would ask me. Back then, I would just smile and say, “you would never understand.”
I had completely forgotten that beautiful mentality I had for a year.
Let me ask you again, why not go for it now? While you don’t have responsibilities. You are smart and capable. Delaying your career or postponing saving up a 401K will not leave you that far behind your peers.
The comfortable life will always be there.
I promise you, the desk job, the nursing job, or the IT job or teaching job that you loathe and don’t want, will be here waiting for you. It will always be there as a backup if you end up finding you don’t want to pursue whatever it is you thought you wanted.
I know I’m still at the beginning of my career. Since I’m at square one, why not take a break, take some risks, travel more, and pursue writing. If I fail and decide it’s not for me, I can come back to a job with a steady income. There will be plenty of corporate jobs waiting for me if I need one.
I know it is “easier said than done” and sounds scary because you like your comfortable life. But you have to remember, as I’ve just rediscovered, that comfortable is only that – comfortable.
It’s not challenging or thrilling. It is mundane and boring. It will never help you grow or make you truly happy. The saying goes something like, life starts outside of your comfort zone. Go cross that threshold and do something that scares you.
Start actually living.
Switch careers, take a chance, move to a different city, quit your job and travel. Do whatever it is that you want to do, even if is as small as learning a new skill, picking up a new hobby, putting yourself out there in the dating world, or joining a volunteer group.
It’s not as scary as it seems. The fear you feel is just the anticipation. Once you start or take the leap, you’ll find that it isn’t as bad as you thought. You will learn that it was all worth it.
If you do not like what you are doing now or have never wanted it, isn’t that enough reason to make a change or take a risk? What do you have to lose?
Other than the life that you’re day dreaming about right now.
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