For some time now I’ve felt like I’m slowly coming out of my shell and realising for once, what I want in life. I’m no longer listening to voices around telling me what I shouldn’t or shouldn’t, can or can’t do. Being given advice is a whole other story than allowing people to pick and choose your life for you, and that’s something I’m finally coming to terms with.
I wasn’t quite sure if this post would ever materialise, if my thoughts on this would ever be translated the way I wanted it to on paper but its happening and I feel its good to share as its something many of us have to deal with.
I’m beginning to understand that how some people voice their opinions are not to guide you but to try and make decisions for you. Needing and asking for help is completely different to people trying to give you it on a plate.
Here’s a little story, a little thought and spur of the moment flashback I had that made me want to write this post.
When applying to University I had a lot of negative comments from people I thought would be the most supportive, telling me either not to go or questioning my choices. When I came to telling those people that University was what I wanted at my next step, instead of agreeing and being happy for me, I had quite the opposite response. As you can imagine I was hurt, felt let down and to say the least, very confused. I’d just finished my A Levels and at the age of 18, who really knows who they are?
Being a teenager doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sure of yourself, although we really do make ourselves to be that way at that age. Really, being a teenager is all about finding out who you are, what you want and it’s a time you do rely on others for advice and help in these situations.
Instead, I had to make this decision for myself and since, I’ve been on a slow road to realising making decisions for yourself is the only way you’ll get what you really want. You’ve just got to bite the bullet.
Deciding for myself to go to University wasn’t easy, nor was it a very exciting time for me. I knew the raw reality of going and it unsettled me a bit. I knew that it was off of my own back and if it went wrong, I’d made this decision so I could have nobody else to blame. But after a few weeks of being there I knew I had made the right choice.
This decision has led me to be a strong believer in making your own decisions and not letting others opinions belittle your choices.
Before making the choice to go to University and get a degree, I was always pleading others for their opinions and not making enough decisions for myself. I admit that I was someone who was reliant upon others and therefore was fairly insecure in myself. It scares me a little writing this down, but if I relied on others to make my decisions for me, did I really know who I was? And are there points in my life that could’ve been different had I decided what path to take, not someone else. Scary right? But now, that’s in the past and no longer will I let others decisions influence my own.
For the first time in a long time I feel grounded. As a teenager I never knew how to make my own decisions, I thought that was only something adults had to do until my time came and it’s led me to now understand that I shouldn’t listen to other people’s oppositional and (let’s face it) shitty comments. Corr, that feels good to say.
I entered the year of 2018 a bit confused, a bit concerned and very much in a daze. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted and I certainly didn’t know how I’d go about making decisions. I was sure something good would come of the year but I didn’t quite know what and that scared me. I had no idea whether to listen to what people were telling me I should do, or just go with my heart and decide for myself. Thankfully I went for the latter, just like I did with deciding to go to University and I’m feeling pretty good about it.
The pressure people get after graduating and leaving University is thinking that finding a full-time job as quick as you can is the right thing to do. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Rushing decisions like that can create a future that you may not desire or even want.
Finding a full-time job isn’t what I want and I’ve finally put my foot down and told those people demanding answers to the questions, ‘so… what you doing now? Working somewhere fancy?’ that I’m so content and couldn’t be happier juggling part-time roles and pursuing my passions. Yes, my University media degree has taught me a lot about the world of media and culture, it’s shaped my knowledge for fields of work that I may pursue when I feel like it. But most importantly it’s helped me understand who I am, how to make my own decisions and be head strong.
Listening to your heart, your gut and what you want will lead to better things. Making your own choices in life seems so simple doesn’t it? But it’s taken me a few attempts to get there and I’ll definitely never look back. It’s also very very rewarding when something that’s your choice pays off, because it’s like a little ‘hell yeah, I did that’ moment.
I left it until February to write this post, just in case my decisions were in fact a panic choice just because it was January and every else was getting their shit together. Now I can say that this choice and realisation wasn’t out of panic mode, it was little old me finally getting my head together.
Here’s to more ballsy, fun but me decisions.
Photography by Sarah Treacher (www.instagram.com/sarahellen_photography)
* This post contains gifted clothing samples *