I'm turning 25 next week. As of next Friday, I'll be well and truly in my mid-twenties. Am I freaking out you ask? No. You see, it's not the growing older bit that I'm having trouble with, it's the growing up bit. When I was little, and even as recently as my late teens, I looked forward to my mid-twenties with quiet confidence as a time when I would have it all figured out. Lo and behold, here I am on 25's proverbial doorstep, still figuring it out.
It's easy to get anxious about what you want to with your life, when we are surrounded by a mirage of social-media and glamorous ad campaigns.
I am active on Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, (Facebook seems to have gone by the wayside, but that's beside the point). Nobody wants to broadcast their flaws or shortcomings, of which we all have a few, for the world to see. Everybody wants to put their best self on show. The result, is a filtered, jet-set, glittering pseudo-reality.
I love Instagram, it's a marvellous global, grown-up picture-book; but unfortunately it can sometimes stir a nasty case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I follow over 500 accounts on Instagram, and post to my own account most days.
Personally, I prefer to keep some snaps just for me, there is such a thing as oversharing, but that's a story for another day. It can be difficult not to envy the lifestyles portrayed on Instagram, and ask wonder don't I have that? A certain amount can spur you on in achieving your own goals, but don't berate yourself too much.
We are all our own harshest critics; nit-picking at our appearance, job, car etc. Picture 10 year old you, would you speak to them how you speak to yourself now? You wouldn't put them down, so don't do it to yourself either. If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life, or so they say.
I am a primary school teacher, and like so many other Irish twenty-somethings, I am currently unemployed. This is a major crux in my over-all figuring it out scheme. It can be easy to become disheartened, or to lose direction. I try to look at the positive, this is a great opportunity to take stock. Is your chosen career where you see yourself? Will it allow you to fulfil your dreams and goals? Yes?
Plough ahead, and keep your eyes on the prize. If not however, this is the perfect time to re-evaluate your goals and put steps in place to help you achieve them. I am a lover of lists.
Shopping-lists, wish-lists, bucket-lists and the never-ending to-do list. Lists aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I find them great motivators. The key to making a good list, is to make steps clear and achievable. "Get a job" isn't a step, it's a goal/list title. Under that title, is where you detail the steps that you will take in helping you achieve your goal, e.g. update my CV. Personally, I'm quite happy to teach, and I'm looking forward to the day when I'll have my own classroom. But between then and now, I'm using my free time (I have quite a bit of it) for a little self-improvement.
Improvement may be the wrong word, levelling-up is more where I'm at, Nidorina style. Your twenties should be your most carefree decade. Seize the opportunity to garner as many new skills and experiences as you can. I've set goals for myself, which include learning a new language, ticking off more books on my list, travelling the world - experiencing new cultures, and improving my pitch & putt game - the usual, you know yourself. I refuse to let life slip by. Making conscious little actions daily/weekly to inch closer to your goals gives you purpose.
So as you go off on your figuring it out journey, remember, you can do anything, just not everything.
Baby steps, that's the key. And don't forget, it's supposed to be fun! Life isn't about finding yourself. Life
is about creating yourself. - George Bernard Shaw.
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