When I was little, my answer to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” rarely produced the same answer twice in a row. Whilst my friends had their ideas pinned down (well, as realistically as you can when you’re pre-ten-years-old), I skipped through potential professions like I was trying on clothes in Tammy Girl on a Saturday afternoon. Beautician, teacher, writer, vet, choreographer, you name it; I oscillated between the idea of numerous careers because, to me, it was far too joyous imagining a jam-packed and varied life to be concerned with tying myself down to one specific goal.
I remember hearing Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free and a particular line stuck with me for years and years after: “Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t”. I found comfort in this, feeling that it was okay to not know who or what I wanted to be. So I carried on in this vein throughout my life, choosing the things that I wanted to do at the time rather than planning ahead (even my current job wasn’t part of any wider career plan, I ended up in it simply because I accidentally discovered I enjoyed it).
This mode of thinking took on a new veracity when I turned twenty-five. Having secured full-time employment and after having a life experience that changed the way I felt about everything, I decided to work on filling my life with activities that make me happy. I wrote a list of things that I wanted to achieve before I turned thirty and, unbeknown to me, that set a small fire which led me to take on as many hobbies, skills, and experiences as I could which would contribute to me building the best possible version of myself. In turn, this would enable me to create my own happiness without depending on others to provide those feelings for me and being happy is something I am totally into right now. So I I tried to say yes more often, I socialised more frequently, I started learning guitar, I read more, I began healthy eating and exercising regularly. In short, I am filling up my life with things that make my heart feel full because it’s the only way I feel like I am fully contributing to my own happiness, the only way to truly enjoy the world.
The problem is, I don’t have time to do it all.
I adore writing, it is the one thing that sincerely sets me alight and gives me the butterflies in my stomach. I could probably devote all of my spare time to writing; I’ve started an online magazine, I want to run a successful blog of my own, I want to write for other publications, I want to enter a writing competition, I want to start a novel. I want to sing more, to perhaps go to an open mic night and do the thing I’m most scared of. I’m considering going back to into education at some point during my life because I’ve not completely neglected the idea of doing a PhD, I want to travel around more, I’m adamant I’m going to complete everything on my Thirty Before Thirty list. My feminism is becoming all the more important to me as I get older and I’m dying to participate in more activism, to devote some part of my life to helping achieve an equal society. All of this whilst holding down relationships with my friends, my family, and spending forty plus hours a week at work.
See, that’s the problem when you start looking for enjoyment in the world, you find it absolutely everywhere. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to feel all of this excitement, inspiration and motivation yet not being able to truly exercise it because there are so many things I’d like to do that I don’t know where to start. Sometimes I wonder if it’d have been better just choosing something specific and making it my life goal to achieve it, but then I reflect on how miserable I’d be to miss out on all of these fun possibilities and opportunities. Maybe I’m a selfish sort, wanting all of the world’s riches for my very own so that I can spend my days rolling around in them and throwing them in the air like long-lost treasure. Maybe it’s positive to feel like I want to force as much learning and experience into my brain as humanly possible, I just don’t know.
All I know is, I want to eat the world but my belly simply isn’t big enough. What’s a girl to do?
Want more From The Fringe? Good news! You can follow me here:
Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest