I feel you. I feel you so hard. What is it about this time in our lives that makes us feel so worthless and like all the work we have done before means nothing? I for one got so tired of feeling like what I wanted to do didn’t have value – it just wasn’t the normal thing for an American college grad to do.
I tried and tried to find a job. You could catch me on LinkedIn every day, searching new potential cities for entry level positions I’d never want to sit in. I got a few calls and nothing ever ended up working out. So I sat and watched all of my incredibly talented friends get offer after offer or prepare themselves for grad school. Why the hell wasn’t I turning into one of those people?! I don’t know when or how it happened, but I decided the typical path just wasn’t for me – at least not yet.
I have just booked a one-way ticket to Spain and I don’t plan on returning to the states for quite some time. I’m 21 years old and I don’t want to start off my life sitting at a desk. This is not to say the people that did begin their careers a week after graduation are making a mistake, in fact I do envy a lot of perks that come with a legitimate job. I envy that you get to pay off student loans without dipping into your savings, but would I give that up to not get to follow my own dreams?
Here’s a little story:
My obsession with seeing the world has been so clear to me since high school. I took a trip to Italy and Greece and there we go I just had to go back one day…or better yet, somewhere new. So I studied abroad. I got an internship and saw what living abroad would look like. Upon my return home I found out it wouldn’t be so easy to permanently go back (thanks a lot visa regulations!). My point in telling you this story is that it’s totally okay to chase that little dream that keeps popping up in the back of your mind when you picture your ideal life! It’s okay!! I am starting off small, au pairing for a wonderful family while I search for a full time career. I’m not going to make a good salary for a while, but I chose that for myself. I am going to feel just as lost as I was on grad day in about 4 months when that tourist visa timeframe starts counting down. I promise you it’s okay.
I’m so happy for my friends moving up in the corporate world but more importantly I’m happy for myself finding my way out of everyone telling me to just choose the safe, “normal” route I saw all around me. I personally find more value in experiences than I do in material things and money but hey, that’s for another post sometime. I’m taking advantage of my ability to move so freely from city to city without having to worry about a kid to watch or a job and asking for time off. I won’t be able to do all that eventually and I’m just as excited for it, it just took me realizing I have the rest of my life to be employed.
I so deeply encourage you to try to stop the comparisons to those around you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a twenty-something year old or not, you are always going to doubt yourself if you try to beat out a friend. For all of our sakes, let’s focus on ourselves and doing what we actually want to do. xx