Figuring It All Out Pt. I: How Did I Get Here?
“Don’t Compare Your Chapter One To Someone Else’s Chapter Twenty.”
We all have ideas and dreams as a kid about how our lives are going to end up. When I think back to when I was little, I remember imagining that I’d have three horses, a prince for a husband and a big mansion to live in. Once I got a little older, I decided that I wanted to be an actress. I took the classes, I studied my craft and I thought I was on my way to Saturday Night Live or something. But now, I think about where I am and I ask myself what many of use millennials are asking ourselves: How did I get here?
Right now, I’m 25 years old and that’s roughly the time when people look at goals they’d set for this time in life. Would you like to know what I’ve learned? Maybe it’ll help you figure some stuff out, too.
Feeling Like A #FailWhale
It is so unbelievably easy to get discouraged when there are more bumps in the road than you expected. When this is the case, it’s difficult to realise that this is when you’re supposed to rise up to meet the challenges. For me, the most discouraging thing is envy. When I see people doing amazing things and living the kind of life I want to live, my envy turns into a raging critic.
What I fail to realise in those moments is that the people who have these great lives have worked very hard to get where they are. They put in the time, the passion and the effort to make themselves and their lives better. Does everyone follow the same steps, the same timeline in life? No, of course not! So, how could I possibly expect myself to be in the same position as them? Nobody moves at the same pace or takes the same path to get to their “happy place”.
Changing Your Mind Is NOT The Same As Failing
This has, by far, been one of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn. For some reason, I always feel like the only reason a person should change their mind about what they want to be is because they failed at what they originally wanted to do. So, I was never able to be a paid actor on the stage. I couldn’t make it to Broadway. I never made it to SNL. Whatever, guys!
Either I realised that I wasn’t cut out for it or I realised that I just didn’t have the drive or the passion. Does that mean that I failed? No! At least I tried my best. I gave it my all. There’s no way to be disappointed in that.
People change as they grow. That’s a part of maturing. We change our minds about things all the time. Changing does not equal failing. If you’re going to take anything away from today, let it be that.
Take It Easy!
What’s your 5 Year Plan?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
What?! I don’t even know what I want to have for lunch today! If you pay very close attention to a person’s 5 Year Plan, it’s usually pretty vague. That’s because things can and most likely will go awry along the way in those 5 years. But, if you’re anything like me, you might want to plan some steps to get to your goals. Here’s what I recommend:
Your 1 Year Plan
Just one year can do so much for a person. Yes, it’s less time to get stuff done but, it also limits your expectations and makes you focus on your immediate, more realistic goals. Look at what you want to accomplish in your life. Now, what can you accomplish within this year to start getting there?
Breaking your plans up into smaller pieces like this will help unclutter your mind, relax you and make the “big picture” much easier to see. Sit down, think about what you want and create your plan of action.
To quote the great philosopher, Shia LaBeouf, “JUST… DO IT! MAKE. YOUR DREAMS. COME TRUE!”
Where Am I Now?
So, did I end up where I thought I’d be by the time I was 25 years old? Well, I imagined that I’d be living in New York City, on Saturday Night Live, living in an amazing apartment with my fiancé or husband.
Where am I now? I move back and forth between my house in the Chicagoland suburbs and my boyfriend’s house in Ottawa, IL. I’m a full time admin, a part time nanny, a freelance writer and a content contributor here at Millennials 365.
Am I disappointed? Not in the least. No, I’m not where I thought I’d be. At this point, I don’t really think I’d be happy with that life. I love where I am, who I am, who I’m with and what I’m doing. So I changed my mind. What does that matter? Life threw me a few curveballs. It happens to everyone. But, every turn brought me to where I am right now and it’s made me realise the things that are important to me. I’ve realised who I am and what I what for my life. I like it here.