Life has an endless amount of possibilities . From the flavour of Ice Cream we have for dessert to our choice of career and quite honestly, as a girl (and I stress GIRL) of merely twenty years old, the sheer plethora of choices I will inevitably have to make, makes me want to weep. Of course, baby steps need to be taken towards this seemingly treacherous path full of snares and booby traps and thinking about the rest of our potentially enormous lives laid out in front of us is undoubtedly terrifying.
I often get messages from people of the younger persuasion, the majority around 14 and about to pick their GCSE options, in a panic expecting that the choices they make to dictate the rest of their working lives. If you’re around the age of 14 and reading this, please don’t panic. No one is expecting you to know what you want to do for the next forty years of your lives before you retire. Your GCSE’s are designed to get you to A Levels, your A Levels to get you to Uni and by the time you’re at Uni you will probably have a good idea what your strengths, weaknesses, passions and hatreds are and you’ll be better equipped to deal with the question “So what do you want to do with your life?” But I do know how you’re feeling. No matter what decision it is we have to make, we all act like we’ve been handed our lives like a baby and expected not to drop it on it’s head but the more we inwardly scream “DON’T DROP IT! DON’T DROP IT!” the more likely it is that we will.
As a teenager and even as a child, I was an insufferable, independent little madam who just had to do everything for myself, I rarely accepted help when it was offered and I never dared ask because that was admitting that I wasn’t capable. I was an adult trapped in the body of a teenager doomed to never be taken seriously. Through the eyes of all those older than me, however, I was just like every other teenager: screaming to be treated as a grown up and ignored because I was screaming.
Now that I’m technically and legally classed as an adult and nearing the inexcusable age of twenty-one, I’d be more than happy to travel back in time to being thirteen again, stop screaming and actually pay attention, listen and ask for help. Maybe then I’d feel far more well equipped to deal with the even bigger decisions headed my way e.g. Marriage, Children, Mortgages, Bills, Jobs..etc. However, as much as making big life decisions makes me quake in my socks (because clearly I’m still in bed, under the covers, cowering from the cold, cruel, possibility filled world) if the power of free will and decision making was taken away from me, I’d start to suffocate. I like knowing I have possibilities and feeling “trapped” is something I’ve dealt with in the past, mainly in relationships and within my career. There’s an awful stand still we sometimes reach where we look at our futures and realise that our past decisions have fixed us on one path with no wriggle room for change and we have to ask ourselves if we’re happy travelling down that road. Usually, if you even have to ask yourself if you’re happy, deep down you already know something is wrong because when you’re genuinely happy, you skip through life like a cartoon not questioning whether you’re happy because clearly you are. It’s like that scene in The Time Travellers wife when Eric Bana proposes to Rachel McAdams and she says no. Just as you see his face fall and his heart sink, she quickly says yes and that she only said no because “she needed to know that she could.” Miss McAdams needed to know that saying “No” was always a possibility and she was able to take it, even though she didn’t want to. I feel very much like that. I like to know that the possibilities are there to take whether I want them or not.
My career came to a stand still back in 2011 where I was kept being told to wait. Opportunities arose but I was told to turn them down because the project I was working on (that wasn’t moving forward) was about to move forward. It’s 2013 and yes that project has come a long was but it’s STILL not done and as you can tell, (she says twirling around in her Eponine costume) I got tired of waiting. I got fed up of watching possibilities pass me by whilst being chained up and not having any choice as to whether I could grab them or not. This is partly why I stressed that I was still a GIRL and not a grown up because I know it’s a slightly immature way of thinking/living. I’m not quite ready to pick one career, one man, one future to live with forever yet. I’m still only 20 and I’m still experimenting with who I want to be.
So to those girls panicking about their GCSE’s…if I’m too young to figure out what that one future is for me, so are you! Just do the best you can and that’s all anyone can ask of you.