“So… what do you want to do with your life?”
I have been asked numerous variations of this question over the course of my existence, more so now as I near the completion of my university degree.
“Where do you see yourself going?” … “Have you got any jobs lined up?” … “What are you going to do now that it’s almost over?”
These questions overwhelm me; they dive into the deepest crevices of my consciousness and drag my self-doubt to the surface. I am an anxious person at the best of times and I thrive on schedules and To-Do lists. They provide me with the sense of certainty and purpose I so desperately crave. When I am confronted with the harrowing reality that my routine is about to collapse from under me, my brain becomes a cacophony of warning signals, drowning out any hope of rational thought.
I am afraid of the unknown. I think we all are, in some form or another.
My fear of the unknown stems from having a lack of control. Not being able to preside over all the factors involved in this upcoming chapter of my life is a harsh reality I am scared to face. I can put the pieces in place but it is up to them to decide my fate… I do not have control.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew this was inevitable.
All things must come to an end at some point and I was aware that my time at university was approaching its completion. I realised fairly quickly into my journalism degree that I was not suited to the ‘hard news’ grind. The short and sweet, all about the facts, no-nonsense style that this genre requires is definitely not my preferred mode of communication (if you haven’t noticed already from what I’ve written so far).
I was enticed by the gloss and vibrancy of magazines and feature writing. I could write about topics other than crime and infrastructure and who the Prime Minister is this week. My use of adjectives would not be frowned upon and my creative mind would be singing in the rain. But with this, I gathered that I may find myself on the path of freelancing. Oop, can you hear that? There go the warning signals I was telling you about.
“Freelancing is pretty unpredictable, right?” … “It’s hard to get paid doing freelancing isn’t it?” … “Why don’t you just suck it up and do hard news? That’s where the jobs are”
These questions have been asked of me so many times that I have been tempted to entertain the thought they might have a point. Should I even try in the first place? Will I really be able to be successful in this field? Should I sacrifice my happiness for money? In the end, that’s what makes the world go round, right?
My worrisome nature can sometimes get the best of me.
I stop these thoughts in their tracks and weigh up their validity. It is true that this field will not provide the stability that an anxious person such as myself would be more inclined to avoid. I also believe that I have been stuck in this cycle of routine for far too long. I have been shielded from the outside world by weekly classes and other trivial responsibilities. I knew exactly what was happening and when it was supposed to happen. I felt safe.
But it’s time for me to let go.
I need to let go of the insecurities that plague my mind; let go of the imaginary roadblocks I have conjured up in my head; let go of the thoughts that tell me I can’t. Getting out of my comfort zone will be a good thing for me. It’ll give me the push I need to shake this desire for structure out of my system and learn to go with the flow for once in my life. I need to take a leap off the edge and just give life a red hot go.
Of course I should try, why would I ever think otherwise? I know this is what I want to do. The fact that I will no longer have the protection of school or university should not deter me from launching myself into the ‘real world’.
I guess we won’t ever know what the future holds. There is no possible way we can predict the events that will shape our lives. The next time someone asks me what I want to do with my life, I will try not to wince in fear at the very thought. I will be content. I don’t think anyone can truly have an answer for that question.
Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be.
Let’s see where life goes, shall we?
This is probably the first time I’ve published something quite personal on my blog so let me know if you liked what you read! Maybe I can try and put my thoughts into words more often, it felt good to get that all off my chest. If you’re feeling the same thing as me, welcome to the fam! Chuck me a comment or even a follow if you’d like to hear more from me.