When I was in high school, I had my whole life mapped out. I was going to study economics, get my degree, get an internship at the Reserve Bank, and then work there doing whatever it is that people do there. I forgot the word economist. I was going to be an economist.
This dream was brutally shattered on my first day of university. I sat down in my maths lecture, and immediately realised I was in way over my head. I sat there, dazed and slightly afraid (okay terrified), and then walked home and had an existential crisis in the privacy of my bedroom.
I ended up switching my major from economics to psychology the next week. Which I later dropped for English Literature because I discovered I would have to do a stats paper. Which I later dropped for linguistics. Which I later just dropped out of entirely.
Anyway, I switched to psychology and immediately I had no life plan. I had no direction. No goal. Nothing. All I had was a $200 textbook for a paper that I was no longer doing and would never need again, and a new diagnosis of severe clinical depression. That probably didn’t help the situation either.
As of this moment, it is almost exactly 18 months since I realised I wasn’t going to become an economist for the rest of my life. Do I have more of a life plan now? Shit, no.
I don’t have a lot of ambition. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just my goals are a lot vaguer than they probably should be. I’d like to travel at some point. I’d like to own a home at some point. I don’t want to hate my work. I’d like to have a cat at some point.
I only really have one concrete goal that I absolutely have to do before I die goal. I want to publish a book. The cool thing about this is the fact that I might do it next year, or I might not get around to it until I’m 70. I’m pretty relaxed about it. It’s not like being a professional athlete, where you’ve got to get in while you’re young and fit, and you’ll only be at your peak for a few years. I’ve got time, and I’m not in any hurry.
My flatmate had a bit of an existential crisis recently, and it got me thinking about how everyone around me seems to have a very clear idea of where they’re going. I haven’t got the faintest idea, and I’m pretty happy this way. I don’t really think I’m in any position to be dead set on anything yet. I’m literally still a teenager, I’m not 20 for another couple of months yet. I’ve got time to figure everything out.
I feel like a concrete and very specific idea of what I want to do with my life is like putting a big red target on me, screaming to the universe “hey come and crush all my hopes and dreams, they’re right here, it’ll be easy”. I don’t want to play games with the universe. It’s a lot bigger than me.
Even if I don’t ever find a specific direction that I want to go in, I’m pretty happy to just do whatever. I’m not particularly bothered by what I do, I just don’t want to end up doing something I hate.
It’s nice to just say that I don’t really have a lot of direction in my life, and for that statement not to be a bad thing. I felt a lot of pressure at the end of school to know exactly what I needed to be doing with my life so that I could do the right degree and get into the right field. I basically picked economist because I was good at economics and had no idea that I would ever actually make a living as a writer.
I’d like to think that I’ve done pretty well for myself so far. I managed to get into writing almost right out of high school, and I’m slowly getting better and more experienced at what I do. I don’t have any plans to go back to university, but in the event that I decide that’s something I want to do, then that’s an option.
Honestly, I have 3 main objectives for my life for the foreseeable future.
- Don’t starve.
- Don’t get evicted.
- Don’t be so depressed all the time.
I’m doing a pretty good job so far. I’ve yet to starve, I’ve yet to be evicted, and I’m not as much of a useless, depressed blob as I was last year. I’d say I’m doing pretty well for myself.
This post doesn’t have much of a point, I’m kind of just talking to myself. And posting that on the internet for some reason. Which, let’s be real, is pretty much what all of my posts end up being anyway. Uh, if this had to have a moral it would be it’s okay not to know what you’re doing with your life. I don’t think anyone really does, especially not when they’re young.