I recently turned twenty four and after much resistance I’ve come to the realisation that I’m now in my mid-twenties. I think one of the reasons why I couldn’t quite believe this was because I don’t feel quite like an adult yet and also partly because I can’t believe my eighteenth birthday was six years ago!
What I’ve learned so far in my twenties is that being an adult is harder than I once thought. After I finished my A levels I felt like I finally had complete freedom and control of my life and it was up to me to decide the next chapter but I had no idea what to do next or where I was supposed to go from here. What’s my path? What’s my purpose? Then before I knew it, I was lost.
No rules to follow
I found myself feeling confused at what I was “supposed” to do or what my friends were doing and what my relatives had done. Yet the reality is, I have to experience my twenties in a way that best lets me understand who I truly am.
Personally that the only reason I applied to university was because it was seen as the next step. I changed my mind last minute as I realised that I was simply doing what I thought I was supposed to do, but I honestly didn’t know what I was truly interested in. I made the decision to work until I could figure it out. Two years went by and I was still at the same job and I was still unsure of what I really wanted in my life. So I decided to travel, and off I went to the other side of the world, G’day Australia!
After an amazing experience, which I would highly recommend, I’m now back home in London. Yet to be perfectly honest, at times I still find myself lost and wondering “what’s my next step?” Don’t get me wrong, travelling helped me to understand myself so much more than I ever could have imagined. It was an incredible journey but this eye opening experience lead to more possibilities with more paths to follow and ultimately even more confusion! What now?
Twenties are for defining ourselves
I’ve found that this time in my life is best used to discover what I truly want and sometimes that means being the odd one out and doing things without any real purpose, simply because you want to. For example, at the start of the year I decided to learn French, not because I was planning to move there, although my thoughts did get carried away as imagined myself speaking fluently in a French cafe’ wearing my beret and ordering “un chocolat chaud”, and yes it was a beginners class.
Since being back from Australia which is around two years now, I’ve had two jobs. For your understanding I’ll add that I changed my first job after a year as I was simply not being challenged enough, nor was I developing my skills at a pace which was right for me. This was down to the fact that over the years I’ve become a firm believer of self-development. In order for me to discover who I really am and what I want, I will keep pushing myself to the next level and challenging myself to do more and be more.
From this new sense of self development I now believe that one of the most important things I can do for myself is to set goals and try to better my skills and my experience. I’ll note down all of the things which I wish to do, no matter how long or trying my list may be. Setting goals has given me something to aspire towards and I would recommend this to anyone feeling lost and looking for the right path to follow.
It doesn’t matter which path you take
If you don’t know where you want to go then I guess it doesn’t matter which path you take! Sometimes I feel like I’ve finally got it all figured out and I can see which way I’m heading, then all of a sudden the wind blows and all of the signs will change direction. A step forward will feel like a step backwards and before I know it, I’m lost.
My advice to those who sometimes find themselves feeling lost is to try and use this time to really understand yourself and your passions. Run as fast as you can towards anything and everything that makes you feel alive. Learn something you’ve also wanted to know, whether that’s a language, a sport or an instrument. Travel to new places and try out new hobbies, it doesn’t matter if you decide the next week that it’s not for you. Change your career, change your mind, it doesn’t matter how many times you change, do what’s right for you. If you have a passion for something then that’s great! Keep on following your path, whether that be a specific career, starting your own business or to travel the world. If you’re anything like me and you keep getting lost, trust that it’s perfectly normal!