Thursday 21 February 2013

The Future (or Help I'm Kind of Freaking Out Over Here)

Sorry, I know that I haven't posted for nearly a week and that now when I'm actually posting something it isn't even about books, but every now and again I like to get a bit personal on here. So.

I've been kind of worrying a bit lately about, well, The Future. And not some dystopic future where everything's in the toilet and evil rulers send children to fight to the death in an arena for sport, but my future (I did say this was a bit personal.) Society expects us to be able to know what we want to do from a fairly young age and then by about my age we're expected to know what we want to do and how we're going to do it and whether we want to go to uni or do an apprenticeship or whatever and I just don't. This has never worried me before because I'm a fairly laid back person. I've always been like 'yeah, I'll think about that later, I've got plenty of time' (about pretty much anything, really. I'm a n expert procrastinator.) but now that 'later' is coming up and I'm lost and a bit scared because time doesn't actually stop for people like me, it just carries on and the people like me drown because we're just not very good about planning ahead and being prepared for things like The Future.

I don't really know why it's worrying me so much now. I know that I'm not alone because only about 3 of my friends actually know what they want to with their lives. But even then I'm not sure whether to be jealous of them or not. It's great that they aspire to being things like lawyers and doctors, but after all this time of them building up the idea of who they want to be, what if they never make it? What if they do and they hate it? I know that I'm in a bit of pickle with just having absolutely no clue, but at least then I haven't built up the expectations of a life that I want to have but that doesn't work out for me.

It's not that I've never thought about it. Of course I have, but I want to be a writer and realistically I know that that's not likely to happen. You'd think that after all this I'd be more encouraged about it, but I know now more than ever that it is a business and that I don't really have the talent or the ability or the confidence or the time-management skills to ever a) get something finished or b) have it be good enough. I know that I'm only sixteen and that I have plenty of time, but I just feel that I need to start thinking about more reliable endeavors than always hoping to do this or that and never doing anything to achieve it. (Don't worry, I'm not going to say that writing isn't a real job. I've been around here long enough to know that that's not true.)

Also, just the whole prospect of being an adult and having to rely on myself terrifies me. I'm not very good at the whole being responsible thing. I think I'm going to end up being the female equivalent of a manchild and do nothing with my life and live alone with lots of cats. I don't have a problem with that, it's just that we build up this whole idea of being a success and having a full life and reaching your full potential and we're barraged with ideas of exactly what this is supposed to mean through the TV and books and school, but what does it really mean? Like, I know I'm getting a bit existential-Meaning-of-Life here, but I'm a teenager. It's what we're supposed to do. What if I do end up being a cat lady? I know in my heart that I'd be fine and happy with that, but because everything else tells me that the only way I can be truly happy is if I either have a family or lots of money/a successful career I feel like there'd always be this horrid feeling of dissatisfaction and that I could've been more. I just hate that. I really do. And I know that maybe I will end up being rich or having a family of my own, but I should be allowed to be happy with being a cat lady too, right? (And yes, I don't really like the term Cat Lady, but whatever.) Especially with women I feel like it's prepetuated that you're only really allowed to be happy when you've got a husband/long term partner and pop out babies because that's what Disney films and TV shows have taught me. Cat ladies should be allowed to be happy too!

Okay, enough about cat ladies. I think I might have dragged that on a bit long. But I feel a bit better now. It's always good to just get it all out of my system. I think this is just a bit how most people feel, though. All I really need is adults to tell me that it'll all be fine and that they were like this too but now they're doing great and figuring their life out, so don't worry! See, I just told it to myself. I that rationally it'll probably all work out, but the rational side of my brain hasn't always been winning out lately.

So, um, thanks for reading this ramble. I'll be back to the book reviews soon.


  1. Cicely, it's pretty normal to worry about you want to do in the future. If it makes you feel better than I was a lot like your 3 friends when I was at college. I had it in my head that I wanted to be a Primary school teacher since I was a child, and I stuck to it up until I got rejected from every single Uni (not trying to freak you out or anything) But I decided out of the blue to do Criminology and Sociology because I loved doing Sociology at college and I enjoyed the crime aspect. I wouldn't change my course for the world now. My decison was very last minute (like really last minute) and it worked out best for me because being rejected helped me to understand that being a teacher really wasn't what I wanted to do in my life. I have friends at Uni who have no clue on what they want to after they graduate, and I guess it's kind of stated that you should know by then, but a lot of people don't know. It's a hard decision to make. Don't worry about it too much. You'll figure it out soon enough :)

  2. i've always been a bit of a mix of laidback and planner but i always knew what i wanted to do and who i wanted to be but recently i have also become a bit scared and i thought i was really prepared and i am really not ready for all these exams and jobs and *college*. "what if i never make it" is pretty much the only thing in my head right now because idk i feel like everything is too much and i'm not really good enough and people keep going on about how if i want it hard enough i will get it but that is not how it works because i do want it hard enough and it really doesn't look like i will get it and then what happens because that was the only thing i was sure of y'know??

    ugh. fuck The Future we shall be manchildren together. 5eva.

  3. Cicely; I'm 27 and only just working out what I even want in life.

    I've known things I think I liked and wanted to do but I never could imagine it happening and it's only within the last year I've started to put it into practice at all.

    I know people twice my age that still don't know what they want to "be" but I think that's half the fun of finding out. You try things and see if they work. I went to uni and got my degree because i wanted to learn but I knew that I could always study again if i needed to or take things as they come. If i've learnt anything so far in the big bad world it's that it's ok to not know the answers but it's not ok to ever stop asking questions.

    cheer up buttercup. You'll be fine. I swear.


  4. Cicely dont freak out! It will all be fine

    I was one of those who knew what they wanted to do from a young age. I decided in year 10 that I would go to sixth form then uni and do English then go and do my PGCE and become an english teacher. After year 11 I did so badly on my GCSEs that I had to take another year to resit some of them before I did my a levels. I did three years at college then three at uni… only to not get onto the PGCE and have to rethink EVERYTHING! So I had worked for eight years EIGHT! only for everything to fall apart. But it didn't, I got a job and it made me realise that actually I don't think I do want to be a teacher.

    You don't have to decide anything now, you have to make some choices but don't think they shape everything, you can always go back and do new stuff in ten years if what you do now no longer seems like the right thing!

    I hope you are ok and writing this post and getting responses has helped you hun! You will honestly be ok! xx

  5. Aww. I'm glad other people have already commented to reassure you that it's all right to worry about this stuff. I'll just add that I'm 30 and I'm still trying to figure it out. You'll get there. There is a lot of pressure on young people to just KNOW these things, but it's hard.

  6. Hehe, love this post and love the comments on it so far. Y'all, we're all so wonderfully lost!

    "...what if they never make it? What if they do and they hate it? I know that I'm in a bit of pickle with just having absolutely no clue, but at least then I haven't built up the expectations of a life that I want to have but that doesn't work out for me."

    Yup. There are pros and cons to every which way of life. So don't stress about doing it this way or that. Just do you.

    As for what YOU actually is... meh. You'll stumble around to it eventually. Or maybe the stumbling is the whole point. There are good arguments either way.

    In the end, search for happiness. When you see that light -- i.e., joy, passion, intrigue -- shining somewhere before you, walk toward it. That's the best guide in pretty much all things. It may not lead you on a straight path to where you "want" to go, but it won't lead you astray.

    And that's true whether you're 16, 36, or 66.


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