Once we leave the warm security blanket provided by our college or parents and enter this experience referred to as the real world, the carefree life we once knew slowly gets taken away from us and making a decision with ease seems like a distant memory. Your job, love life, financial status and plans for the future are all of a sudden the only things that define you as a person and measure your success at life. I'm not sure who created this unwritten rule book of norms to follow that we all mindless abide by, but I'm here to tell you the things you're most likely freaking out about aren't really what you should be focusing on.
WHAT DOESN’T MATTER: Landing your dream job
WHAT DOES MATTER: Knowing what you love to do
Get accepted into a stellar college, choose a major that looks good on paper, dominate internships at Fortunte 500 companies, and land your dream job at the career fair senior year. So the story goes. This plot may not apply to everyone, but I'm sure it can be morphed into numerous variations that all sum up to the same thing: being forced to figure out what the hell you want to do everyday of your life before you even move out of your parents house. You may have tricked yourself into believing you love what you do everyday, you may dread what you're doing everyday or you may have no idea what it is you want to do. Either way, you are okay. For most of us, our dream job now won't be our dream job in ten years.
Most people spend their time making a living, without ever having a chance to make a life. Don't let your fear turn you into one of these people--not landing your dream job right away is okay. Instead of focusing on what company you work for, how much money you're making, or what your business card title will be in 5 years, start focusing on what you love to do. Yes, it is okay to spend time doing things you love that don't make you money. The more time you spend putting your energy into what you love, the better the outcome is. Sure, your friend who is kissing the CEO's ass and working 80 hours a week at a meaningless office job may get promoted before you, but you will be happier and more fulfilled as a person because you spent time doing things you're passionate about. If you know what you love to do, awesome, go at it! If you don't, you're still young! Start taking up hobbies and discover your interests. The soul burning feeling you get from doing something you love is way more powerful than anything else you will ever do in life.
WHAT DOESN’T MATTER: Finding your soulmate
WHAT DOES MATTER: Falling in love with yourself
Advice I was once given "You will never be happy with someone else until you are happy with yourself" rings more true everyday. Don't get upset when your friends are away on a couples retreat and you're binge watching orange is the new black for the weekend, embrace this time that is only yours. Discover what it is about you that makes you so great and enjoy your own company. I'm sure any couple married for over ten years would envy the time you get to yourself. Being in a relationship is great, only if that relationship is healthy. The more sorry for yourself you feel that you're alone, the more you will convince yourself every person you meet is your actual soulmate. If you force a relationship to happen before you finish perfecting the one you have with yourself, you eventually take out the unhappiness you have for yourself in your partner. And then you become the couple no one wants to be around because contrary to popular belief, misery doesn't always love company. Learn to love you, and this will attract the love you've been waiting for.
WHAT DOESN’T MATTER: What other people are doing
WHAT DOES MATTER: What you are doing
The last and most important lesson we all need to learn is that we are all on different paths. Though society tirelessly tries to tell us what we all need to be doing and when, we are all meant for different things. Don't compare someone else's middle to your beginning. Don't feel ashamed if all of your friends are getting married while you're still single. Don't feel intimidated by the coworker that got promoted before you. Don't feel like there is no time left to explore what you love because someone 5 years younger has conquered that same thing already. Sometimes we are the expert, sometimes we are the novice, and sometimes we are straight up confused. Stay confident in yourself and where you're going, it is your story to write.