Rambles, rants and raves

A lot of opinions spilling out of my brain


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Everyone says: ‘you’ve got to find what you like’

I’ve been debating an issue (in my head, naturally) for a little while. The issue is if you need to love what you do. It’s the career advice I’ve been told since I was 15. Only recently have I actually stepped back and looked at what was being said. (That sentence requires a little imagination but stay with me. I’m tired and I want to get this off my chest).

“Find what you love and it’ll never feel like work.”

That’s the one piece of consistent advice that was said to me from the ages of 15 to now by all sorts of people and articles. It’s a superficially great piece of advice. It’s also slightly ridiculous and not necessarily true.

First, not everyone feels that a successful career results in life fulfilment. Some people feel that as long as a job provides them with money to do what they want then that’s all they need. After all, who says a career needs to be everything?

Admittedly I’m aiming to do the whole what I love thing. Mainly because I’ve wanted to do it for so long, also because I think I’d be good at it and because I can’t really imagine doing anything else.

Still, this advice that has followed me for at least six years of my life probably goes a little way to explaining why I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

I want to travel, live a little like a nomad and see the world and I want to write and tell people about things they don’t know or need to know about. It’s pretty simple. I also want a nice house and at least two dogs and a cat. Maybe even a house rabbit that grows to the size of a crawling human baby. To have that costs money. Journalism isn’t really known for the high pay cheques especially when you’re just beginning as a lowly roving reporter like me.

In today’s society there is definitely a much stronger focus on academia and a career. Because of the stress, commitment and time needed for said career, the only advice given to remedy this complete and utter focus on work is to do what you love.

This results in 15 year olds being asked: “so what do you want to do?” As they feel a little awkward and not knowing, people quickly answer “Oh, you’re too young to know now anyway.” Yet it’s an expectation. A ‘regular’, more elite career is looked at with impressiveness and if you answer with an ambition to the question of “what do you want to do?” People dismiss it and remind you you’ll need a job for that.

Work is seen as a chore unless it’s something you love. Not a great way to promote employment.

Well duh. Obviously you need a job but it doesn’t have to be your life if you have other ambitions. You can decide to go into a career for the money rather than the passion for it and in doing so afford what it is you’re passionate about. Be that cars, holidays, houses, clothes, artwork – whatever.

Doing what you love makes sense to me, it means I will constantly feel driven to do well and to do better. I have a lot of dreams and although some of them require a bit of money (almost cried writing that lie, bit of money is playing it down way too much) I am not driven by those £s enough for that to give me enough of a drive.

For others it’s different. I have a few friends and family that have chosen extremely successful and satisfying careers that they do not necessarily love but allows them to live a life that they do love. That sounds pretty awesome too.

A career doesn’t have to be everything in a person’s life. Doing something as a way of living a life that you want to live is just as amazing as having a career that you are passionate about.

As long as you are living your life your way then nothing else really does matter. There’s no such thing as ‘true, complete and utter’ freedom (that’s a blog post for another time) but that’s the closest we’ll ever get to it.


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Wanderlust

Wanderlust: noun, a great desire to travel and rove about, a desire for wandering.

I have wanted to explore the world and travel since a time before a steady memory developed for me. It’s been something that I’ve always wanted to do and as I, apparently grow up, the more determined I am to make that dream a reality.

I don’t think I’d be happy, living my whole life in one place without seeing at least a little bit of the world. Planet Earth is a big place and it would be silly to not use the time I have exploring places that most people only see through their TV screens.

I am hoping to travel in roughly a years time. A backpacking trip around South America with the boy. Hopefully, fingers crossed. Rough plans have been decided and the little details are slowly being ironed out. If it goes according to plan – it’ll be my first step towards exploring the world. My mum is afraid I won’t come back. I’m afraid I won’t want to.

I have a massively long list of places I want to go, people I want to meet and things I want to do while I’m out there on a massive adventure, not just in South America but future exploits around the globe. It won’t be easy and it’ll take planning and money and time. But I don’t care. It will be worth it. For me, it would be a terrible waste of my life if I didn’t see the things I read about in books and magazines, the places I dream about and see on television. The roads less travelled and the ones concreted over for their popularity.

Travelling to me is a way to see something different, to grow and to learn. To fully realise, have it thrown in your face type realisation, that the world is a big place full of lots of amazing things. You are just a part of a huge ecosystem, a massive universe. I like that feeling. I think it’s why I love the stars.

To quench my wanderlust at least a tiny bit, I devour travel articles, blogs, videos, TV shows – everything. One day soon it will be my turn. It’ll be my opportunity to take a few steps away from my front door and throw myself out there.

How very exciting.

A beautiful colourful world map. Makes it even more beautiful, in an arty way. Found on Piccsy, link is here: http://piccsy.com/2011/06/lovely-colourful-world-map


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Just breathe. Don’t panic.

Okay, so I graduated last week (YAY!) It was an awesome day and a brilliant night. My family, closest friends and of course, the boy were all there looking very dapper. It was fun, I was happier than I thought I would be and I couldn’t have asked for a better 24 hours. Note to anyone that is going to graduate in the near future: those robes are deceptively hot. I was sweating like a madman and my hat was so tight that I had a headache. Luckily the buzz of the day meant these were mere annoyances. I put that gown on a naive person; I took that gown off, sweaty and graduated but with a need to tell the world about these deceptively hot garments.

Anyway this post isn’t to talk about graduation or a chance for me to rant a little about how expensive those gowns and hats are that you are forced to wear. I’m sitting here in my garden having just finished my CV and feeling a little sense of accomplishment and having completely transformed it from overbearingly full to cool and concise. (If I do say so myself, let’s face it no one else will even have noticed). Then I got this very familiar feeling of complete and utter panic.

I’ll explain.

Firstly I should mention that this isn’t a panic attack. Obviously those are very serious. What I’m talking about I have dubbed (in my own head): ‘The Dreamers’ Panic.’ This is a very real thing. It’s when your stomach feels like you’ve been on a four night drinking marathon, then decided to eat the greasiest food imaginable almost while riding the biggest roller coaster ever imaginable; and I’m playing it down a bit.

‘The Dreamers’ Panic’ begins a little like a montage or a hallucination of all the fabulous things you want to do in your life. It makes you smile, it makes you motivated and you realise you have a lot of dreams. ‘The Dreamers’ Panic’ then allows evil logic (not the good kind) to seep into your brain. This causes a nausea, some sweating and a lot of heavy breathing as you mutter to yourself what ifs over and over again.

What if I can’t do it all?

What if I’m not successful?

What if I get it wrong?

What if I’m wasting time?

You get the idea of what I’m talking about. These terrible rhetorical questions can make the best of people resort to the foetal position, as they convince themselves that it’s hopeless and we may all give up now to save ourselves the trouble.

This is ‘The Dreamers’ Panic.’ It’s terrifying because us humans tend to be excited, exhilarated and utterly terrified of the unknown; both simultaneously and dependent on what the particular new thing entails. When it comes to the future, even the bravest can admit: it’s a little scary.

The future is the one thing that we’re consistently working towards. It’s the horizon, the unattainable goal (for the future is never in reach), it is what we dream of. We’re always looking ahead, we always tell ourselves to focus on the future, it’s our fairytale once upon a time only in reverse. It’s exciting because it could all change, it’s hopeful because we know that change could always come to make things better. The future tends to be thought of with only positivity. ‘The Dreamers’ Panic’ kind of shits on this a little (pardon the language) by doubting that positivity. That’s a scary thought. That the one thing that we have been forced to look forward to our whole lives may not be as good as we’ve imagined or as we’ve had imagined for us.

But I’m slowly beating ‘The Dreamers’ Panic.’ Living for now with one eye on the future is a good way to be. Enjoying the present while being excited for the future and hoping for the best is the only way to beat ‘The Dreamers’ Panic.’ Believe in yourself, breathe slow, work hard, play hard and enjoy as much of the present as is possible. Milk it for all it’s worth, the future will be all the better for it.


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Dreams? Not for everyone apparently

I have been all over the shop this past week or so and although my blog seems to have naturally changed to a weekly update thing I am so tired of essay writing (already!) and am feeling tired but with a still buzzing brain and as a I wait for the boy to get onto skype I felt it was a perfect opportunity to blog.

I am in my final year at university this year, I graduate in July which is only four months away. As a result, I do what every average person would and start thinking about my dreams. After all, it is the reason I’m at university in the first place to be able to achieve my dreams and all those wonderfully impossible ambitions I have! I don’t want the deep despairing hole of student debt trying to engulf me for no good reason. But I digress.

I was talking to a friend today and during the conversation I happened to ask one of my favourite questions ever to ask a human to him, I feel it says a lot about a person. I asked him what his dream was. Not his dream that would please others or get him away from his problems but a dream or an ambition he’s always wanted to achieve. Just because he wants to. He shocked me slightly, as it does every time I get this answer, that he didn’t really have a dream or an ambition. Happiness is enough. Which is all well and good but I’m confused. (I wrote about something along those lines here https://browneyesandgreenbees.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/happiness/ way back when last year).

His dream is to be happy yet he’s currently miserable, feeling low and a little sorry for himself. In my opinion, as nice and lovely as it is to have a dream of being happy it’s not realistic. It’s like aiming to drop a dress size but not telling yourself you’re going to get there through healthy eating and exercise. If your dream is to be happy (which is obviously everyone’s dream – no one aims to be depressed) then you have to have aims of how you’ll achieve that. Humans like to be complex creatures as such having such a basic dream or ambition as being happy means that you’ll never actually achieve it. Funny how the world works, huh?

Not having a dream is fine. Stating your dream is to be happy is like saying well I hope I’m still breathing so that I can have dinner. Duh. Everyone wants to be happy. Those that don’t want to be happy usually wish they could want such a thing. A dream does not mean a state of being, because it’s just illogical to mean such a thing. A dream or an ambition is fundamentally the steps to getting you to ‘happy’ or at least meaning that on the way to achieving those dreams you find ‘happy’.

Banksy

Also, you can’t technically dream to be happy. Even if you have everything in the world. A secure family, health, money, time and whatever else people fantasise as the ideal; there will be times when you’re not happy. That’s just human nature. To be consistently happy, I mean not a single day with even a second less than pure elation would drive you crazy. And it’s just not humanely possible, unless you’re a toy or a cartoon and you’re smile is drawn on. I am a naturally happy person, it is my fall back emotion and yet even I allow myself to feel anger, sadness, disappointment and hope. That’s what life’s about. Not being happy all the time, learning and evolving and reaching happy again, it’s about exploration not numbing yourself to certain emotions because they are seen as ‘negative’.

I have countless dreams but never have I felt the need to announce that I dream to be happy. Firstly because I am lucky enough to feel happy most of the time and secondly because that is just a general consensus. I do not like assumptions but just like I assume that if you’re reading this you’re breathing (and have access to the internet) so I assume that you want to be happy.

You can’t dream an assumption. You can’t dream for something that is obvious for every person on this planet (and there are a lot of people). It’s like every person in a beauty pageant asking for world peace. It’s a given. And although I believe everything should be stated at least once, I do feel it’s a little silly to say you dream to be happy.

Maybe I’m being overly ambitious and judgemental but I stand by what I say. I think it’s more logical to state that you don’t yet have a dream; or that you’re still figuring  it out; or that you don’t need one because you’ve got all you want and you couldn’t ask for more. That, to me, makes a lot more sense.