On Friday night, as part of my goal for 2016 to make more friends, I went out to a bar to meet a group of strangers.
Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds. The group is called Belfast 20 Somethings and we meet every week or so at a different venue in Belfast and anyone come along. It’s a great way socialise if you’re new to the area or to get out of the house if you’ve become a hermit recluse like moi…
Although hanging out with complete strangers is daunting and I almost always talk myself out of going every time, when I do build up the confidence to just leave the house and go, I always have a great time.
And I’m very glad I went on Friday. Not only did I have such a good laugh, I also met some very interesting people and had some pretty insightful conversations that I’ve been thinking about a lot since.
What’s Your Dream?
One of the girls I got talking to was from Rome (many of the people who attend the events come from all over the world) and she was telling me a bit about her job as a marine biologist. Although it’s not something that I thought I’d particularly care about because I can’t swim and I think fish are gross, I was absolutely fascinated by her career and how passionate she was about it. She told me how when she was just two months old, her father brought her out in a fishing boat and the sea has just been part of her life ever since.
This prompted a few others to talk about how they got started in their careers. A guy who works as an engineer told me how he was obsessed with cars as a child and as his interest just intensified, he knew how his life would pan out. As more and more people in the group were contributing stories of these vocational childhood experiences, it dawned on me that I absolutely NEVER felt anything like this as a child. And it made me insanely jealous. I wanted a vocation too!
I started thinking back on being young and all the things I thought I’d do when I grew up. I know that I’ve always wanted to write and had my heart set on being a poet or a song writer for a good few years. (I was a weird kid). Then I remembered how I wanted to be an artist and a fashion designer and a hair dresser (and therefore experimented often on my own fringe). Then as a teenager, I discovered I was pretty good at languages, so I studied French, German and Spanish and decided I’d be a translator and work for MI5. Because, why not.
Then I became a newspaper reporter and then a magazine journalist. And I’ve been a stylist, a website editor, I’ve worked in events management and PR and now somehow I’m a Digital Marketer. Universe – you crazy.
But basically, what I’m trying to say as I give you my whole life story, is that I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life. Right now, I’m enjoying the marketing world. I’m learning every day, challenging myself and improving my skills. It’s a lot of fun. But is it my absolutely, lifelong, fire-in-my-belly dream? Well, for now yes, but in a few years, who knows where I’ll be?
I Have No Idea What I’m Doing With My Life
There is a lot of pressure on us to ‘follow our dreams’ and find our ‘true calling’ etc, etc. I have admittedly succumbed to that pressure and spent a lot of time, especially in the past few years, trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do with my life only to discover that the answer isn’t one, concrete thing. Maybe I’m supposed to do loads of things with my life and have a winding, maze of a career path that sometimes has dead ends and sometimes has secret tunnels and sometimes has a very clear route. And as I grow to accept that, it’ starting to seem like a lot more fun than doing one thing for like 40 years.
So, if you do have a purpose in life and a dream that you’re reaching hard for, then keep going. I applaud you and yeah, I’m pretty fucking jealous. But, if like me, you don’t have that in-built burning desire to achieve a set goal, then embrace that too. There’s no set way to start your career – just do what makes you happy in the moment and trust your feelings and they’ll take you to where you need to be.
With that in mind, here are a few other careers I’d maybe like to try:
- Beauty brand owner – like Marissa Carter from Cocoa Brown Tan.
- A full time blogger like SoSueMe.
- Someone who gets paid to play with puppies all day.
- A meditation teacher.
- An author.
- A public speaker.
- A lottery winner.
- Someone who gets paid to try desserts at restaurants.
- A screen writer.
- A creative director at an advertising agency like Don Draper in Mad Men.
- A defence lawyer.
- Host a podcast.
- Kim Kardashian.