the ol’ cogs have been a whirring again and you know what they say, sometimes the best way to figure out what you mean is to write it down …(do they say that?).
I recently had a conversation with someone I met at a party, it went something like,
Them: ‘So what do you do with yourself?’
Me, with fierce nonchalance : ‘Oh you know a bit of this, a bit of that’ (read: I spend large amounts of time pyjama clad eating decadent brunches I’ve made for myself in bed)
All of a sudden there was this weird energy shift, like it’s bad karma to be around someone with ‘no direction’. It was as though my attitude might be contagious and if you spend too long talking to me YOU TOO might start to question the necessity of a 9-5 job.
I didn’t really have a straight answer for him. Not a clean, 1 sentence, Instagram bio one anyway. Though we try with all our millennial might, sometimes just trying to find out what people are up to becomes a mother chucker. People like a nice easy answer, a person with a plan they can put their trust in. So we can be checked off their invisible but oh so evident ‘watchlist’. Lord knows we have enough uncertainty in our lives already, we don’t need someone mid way through an arts degree adding in any more.
It seems v a la mode right now be the one DOING STUFF.
It might be because we are entering/in the stage of life where our friends are just starting to figure out what the rest of their lives might entail *cue Jaws soundtrack*. The seeds of careers are being planted and some go getters are starting to sprout.
It’s a minefield.
We all know those people, the ones that have lots on the go and always seem to be progressing and ‘doing the stuff’. You feel like you’re always hearing, ‘have you heard about so and so, yea she’s really killing it right now’
The gut reaction might be an eye roll followed by a groan followed by a muttered ‘bloody overachiever’. A tightness in your chest creeps in. You think, maybe I should be doing more, is what I’m doing not enough?
It’s easy to dismiss these stuff do-ers as being in a league of their own when actually these mystical creatures that are venturing out into the world are beacons ! follow their light! let their drive be inspirational ! they are the brave ones bashing and crashing and fumbling. learn from them, lift them up. get involved.
Never in my life have I been so surrounded (positively smothered) by creative and interesting people. They are doing cool things in so many different arenas of life, they have ideas and they aren’t waiting for someone to give them permission.
It’s not that I don’t have ideas or even options, in fact I’m lucky enough to have found several things I’m passionate about. *she nods insistently and not at all desperately*
I’m just not ready to tick a box just yet, and make someone ELSE feel better because I have a plan.
It’s an exciting time to be a young person! We are preparing for jobs and careers that don’t even exist yet. We get to use OUR reality, our experiences and challenges to break the mould.
Everyone is up to something and everyone has that spark that really gets them going (my most recent spark is RuPaul’s Drag Race, PLZ hit me up for further chats). So next time you’re at a party and you feel the need to ask someone to tick a box, why not ask
‘what are you passionate about?’, ‘what do you love to do?’
*climbs down from soapbox*
The question is not “what do you do”, rather “who are you and where are you from”
The question about the future is not “what do you want to do”, rather “who do you want to be”