Do Life On Your Own Time

Christopher Campbell / Unsplash

We’ve all heard it before. By the time you’re 18, you are supposed to know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life. You’re supposed to go directly to college, get your degree, and head to the workforce. Maybe you’ll meet your soulmate along the way and get married too. While we applaud the ones who are actually able to do what is typically unrealistic, we’re here to talk about the ones who don’t.

It took a long time to discover that it is absolutely okay to not know at 18 what you want to do every day for the next 50 some years of your life. We know. Blasphemy. Let’s take it one step further by letting you in on the secret that it’s not only okay to take some time off after high school, but it’s an excellent idea. Oh, the horror! What no one ever tells you is, it’s up to you to decide what is the best course of action for yourself.

If you wait until you’re 25 to decide you want to go to college because you’re sure of a career for yourself, that’s great! Don’t ever let anybody tell you different. If you’re 50 and you decide you hate your job and want to go back to school and get a degree in something completely different, hey, that’s okay too! Let’s talk about why.

We can get scientific and say it’s because everyone’s brain is different and that explains everything. But we don’t believe that’s the answer. At least, not the whole answer. We’ve met 6-year-olds who say they are going to be vets, only to see them achieve that very dream 15 years later. We’ve met those who change their minds fifteen different times after actively pursuing twenty different routes, all to decide on something they’ve never mentioned before at 30. Why? Because we’re different. We grow up differently, we think differently, we feel differently. That fact will never change.

Our experiences don’t define us, but they do help shape us. Maybe you grew up with an alcoholic father but didn’t realize your passion for helping others kick the addiction until you were 26 and had wasted time in college and at dead end jobs. Maybe you come from generations of doctors and want to follow in their footsteps. Both options are okay because we need both of those things. We need doctors, counselors, teachers, scientists, construction workers, and everything in between. We aren’t going to get any of those things if we all think and feel alike.

So while many tell you that you need to know what you want to do at a young age to be successful, don’t listen. Take that time off. Or jump right in. Your heart, mind, and soul will let you know what’s right. On your own time. TC mark

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