What do I want to be when I grow up?
It’s funny because I always thought I was a grown up, until recently. I’ve always marvelled and dreamed and turned those dreams into reality. I’ve gone out and done the hard yakka that was needed, I’d get up on days when I felt like burying my head in a pillow and was always accountable to myself. I thought this made me a responsible, and albeit successful, grown up. But fuck, I was just a baby. And I still am I guess. Except now I feel myself growing up in ways I’ve never experienced before. Unusual changes like; needing to try and be creative (instead of it being my natural state), shifts in my attitudes and reckless approaches to almost any venture I pursue. I now find myself seeking the validation of respected peers, sleeping on decisions and running the numbers before catapulting into a new project. How concerning. Initially I thought perhaps I just wasn’t well, so I gave it a few months; attempting in that time to find a diagnosis for my entrepreneurial-flu. Nothing seemed to change and no diagnosis was found.
Recently I’m coming to terms with what it must be; I’m actually just becoming a grownup. A careful, considered, grownup. Oh no. I don’t think there’s a cure for that one. Other’s have looked me up and down during their assessments and diagnosed it a “quarter life crisis”. I’m finding myself questioning the prospects of family and stability – and yet at the same time this powerful force inside of me is screaming “Noo! Sell it all and become a professional backpacker. Go and trace every inch of the world with your footprints and build a life responsibility-free, full of adventure.”
I can almost see my mother having the same battles as she enjoyed her 20s in the early 70s, when becoming a hippy was a legitimate thing to write into the “occupation” box on forms. How did I let the free spirited girl inside me that would’ve once written “child of the universe” into one of these boxes, suddenly begin to *proudly* write CEO and Commonwealth Commissioner. Not to say I’m not proud of what I’ve achieved, but I have a fear that I’m going to get trapped in the cage of adulthood I actually (ironically) built myself.
So, to my fellow 20-something’s… I finally get it. I finally understand what it feels like to have no idea what I want to do when I grow up. And it’s scary as hell. It’s making every choice I make, from where to live to what I’m going to have for breakfast increasingly stressful – as though the rest of my depended on it. I don’t have any answers, or advice – other than to just ride it out and wait and see. Don’t make any rash decisions and go back to daydreaming about what it is I want to do with my life. What is my legacy going to be? What kind of woman am I going to become? Try to remain open with childlike curiosity and listen to the intelligence of your heart – because that never stops speaking to you. Listen. Keep listening. I never listened when I was younger. I was too busy trying to be heard.