What Surprised Me Most About Life

I’m surprised most about the uncertainty- I really thought at age 21, I’d have all my ducks in a row and probably would have ticked a few major things off my bucket list. No such luck. I know I’m not alone in this but it’s still hard to not be disheartened by my lack of achievements by now. I remember being a wide-eyed child, with countless hopes and dreams and aspirations for my older self. Would my younger self be proud of me now?

Growing up watching TV and films, I couldn’t wait to be a teenager. I’d drive around town in my it-needs-a-little-work car, go shopping with my friends, drink milkshakes and stay out late watching movies (it appears I watched a lot of 80’s films). The reality couldn’t have been further from that though. Instead of ‘hanging out’ all the time, I’d spend most of my teenage years alone in my bedroom, playing angsty music and trying to talk to people online – the few people who weren’t bullying me at school. I didn’t pick up any friends in my car, in fact I didn’t actually pass my driving test until I was 19. And there I was thinking I’d be zooming around town at 17 (not that I’d have anyone to drive around with then, either).  I thought I’d be carefree, instead I was scared of every move I made. All hope of a fun, happy teenager with buckets of potential was quickly washed away as I picked up the first symptoms of anxiety and depression. I had no idea what it was at the time.

Life is a lot harder than I thought it would be. You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to gain experience. You have no idea what you want to do with your life until it’s ‘too late’ and you haven’t got the ‘essential’ degree to get a job in your chosen field. You need to juggle a social life, saving money, life experiences, work, housekeeping, hobbies, wellbeing, and just about everything else. If you don’t have a high-flying career; you’ve failed. If you haven’t found ‘the one’ then you never will. If you still live with your parents because you can’t afford it on your own; you’re everything that’s wrong with this generation. Nobody taught us all this at school.

But for all of the hardships and setbacks, life can be incredibly rewarding, and it is absolutely what you make of it. If you want to travel – make a plan and get saving! If you want that job – work your ass off to get it! The only thing holding you back from achieving your goals is you.

My adult years are not what I expected them to be, it’s been a turbulent ride and not all of it was rosy. But I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for my journey. I’ve crossed a fair few things off my bucket list, and although I still have a way to go, I intend to cross every last one off.

8 thoughts on “What Surprised Me Most About Life

  1. Great post! I’m knocking on a bit now but can relate to what you say. I think there is a lot more pressure on young people now and the cost of higher education is a big concern to me as a parent, especially as I think that it can be very difficult to know what you want to do with your life even at my advanced age! The main thing I’ve found is to find what you’re passionate about and where your talents lie and to pursue them however you’ve can. I’ve done this and without any ‘plan’ as to how I’d get there I’ve been very lucky in the opportunities that life has offered me and continues to offer. I’ve also learned there is never a destination where you feel you’ve ‘made it’ – life has a habit of constantly changing and surprising you. I think that’s why working on knowing yourself well is really important in helping you navigate these changes and learning what you need to from them to grow and develop. Well, seems like I wrote an essay!

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  2. I think this post is so relatable! I had such grand ideas of what my life would look like at almost 22 — graduated, working, living with the ‘love of my life’…

    I’m still working on accepting that things didn’t go (and probably never would have gone) to plan, but I really hope that the lost, little 17-year-old me would be proud of how far I’ve come.

    Keep it up! xx

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  3. I completely agree and relate to this post. I really thought that by the age I’m at now – 22 – I’d have my shit together but in reality I’m barely beginning. I’ve graduated university, it’s been about a year now but I still have no idea what to do with my degree. I never pictured that it would be like this but I guess it’s just all part of the journey to wherever I’ll end up. Keep pressing on x

    Alice http://www.accordingtoalicex.com

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  4. You’ve described exactly how I feel about where I am at life. Reality never lives up to the expectation. When I was a kid, I used to think that when I’m the age I am now that I would be married and have kids. Instead, I’m about to turn 29 while single and still living with my mother. This is definitely not how I imagined my life to be at this point.

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  5. I think you’ve just said everything that I was thinking. I had such high expectations such as being moved out, boyfriend, baby all at the age of 22 and I got to 22, passed it and was like ‘guess that’s not happening then 😂’. And it just kind of knocked me down but I found so many more positives that I’ve managed to achieve in 23 years. And actually I didn’t pass my driving test till this year and constantly put myself down for doing it too late, but I DID it and I think if you really want things you can make it happen, it might just take you a little longer. 💜💜

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  6. I’m the same way. I’m 23 and even at 18 felt like a disappointment as I debated and eventually dropped out of college. But it happens to all of us at different times and we’ll get there 🙂 Awesome post. It’s always nice to know you’re not alone.

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    1. It’s awful to feel like you’re amounting to nothing, I often feel like if I can’t do anything with my life now, will I ever? It’s nice to know I’m not the only one feeling like this, wish I could get some momentum on my goals!

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