13 Mar Don’t forget who you are
All people are different. Still we act together, led by common rules and social norms. In a world that sometimes resembles a hive mind it’s easy to forget you’re not like others.
Some people act in a different way than others. Some people act better in different situations than others. That’s why some people are better off making different decisions concerning their lives.
What usually works for the majority doesn’t necessarily work for all. I don’t mean that entrepreneurship is better than going to a university. Or that long-term plans for the future are a surefire way to achieve a boring life. That would be completely counter-intuitive.
As I’ve said earlier, setting long-term goals has always backfired for me. I didn’t become a nanotechnologist or an English teacher. The plans I was prepared to act according to for years led to disappointments. Through identity crises I realized that plans set in stone are not made for me. The thought of not having all possible options open causes panic in me because of my fundamental nature. The world is full of possibilities and the feeling that I can utilize them all gives me strength.
I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends are in a similar situation as I was earlier. Many of them have spoken to me about how they’re depressed about going to school or that they’re current job isn’t what they thought it would be. Some of them don’t even know which school to apply to. These words are often followed by sentences “You’re so lucky to get to do what you want!” or “I wish I was offered a chance like that!”
I can’t deny having gotten lucky with my current situation. I’m infinitely thankful for getting to do what I want for a living. But that’s the thing. I know what I want to do.
I want to live one day at a time. I want no work day to be like the others. An uncertain future is fascinating instead of scary. I want to work with my friends, not with colleagues who are only seemingly friendly to me.
If you now feel like nothing interests you, think are you truly doing what you want to do. What if you’re only making believe that this is what you want? If you’re unhappy, think of what you did differently when everything was fine. Have you whittled away the things in your life that you enjoy? Sacrifices are necessary in life, of course. But is forgetting yourself in hopes of a better future the right answer?
A change doesn’t have to be radical for it to have a positive effect. A sacrifice doesn’t have to be big for it to free your hands to do the things you like. I don’t believe moving abroad from your friends and family is the right answer to a 40-year-old family man. In a situation like this it’s better to answer dissatisfaction and displeasure with less destructive measures. Starting a new hobby or contacting your old schoolmates might be the thing a person living a stable life is looking for. I figure that older and more developed people are better at saying what they want to do with their lives.
This all applies to matters outside of work as well. Toxic relationships, neglecting yourself, problems inside the family – these are all things you can become blind towards. Insisting that everything is fine can help for a moment, but your personal happiness comes from yourself.
Be true to yourself. If you truly believe that you’re living your life the way you want to, great! We’re in the same boat. But if you have a gut feeling that the future you’re building isn’t the one you want, maybe it’s time for a personal status check. The world is full of possibilities and the only obstacle in front of them is yourself. Don’t let your worries define you. Never forget who you are.