Monday, November 12, 2012

I wish I'd realised earlier

The most success I've ever had was realising I didn't want to be successful. At least not in the generally accepted definition of the term. I never wanted to be rich, or even wealthy, or even upper middle class. Even though I am (middle class, that is). I've always been willing to settle financially on what could get me by. Money, in that sense, is not an issue for me.

I didn't want to do business, corporate law or anything that was the picture of ambition in a suit. It never was my style. The best moments I have and keep having are realising that what I actually want and what other people want me to want are so disparate that it renders it a little hilarious.

No thanks, I don't want to buy investment properties. No thanks, I'm not interested in owning my own car. No thanks, I don't want a graduate job or to climb any ladders or get my foot in any of those doors. The only things I climb are trees and the only doors I clamour to get inside of are those of airplanes.

It's this incredible release of pressure when you realise - wait a minute - I don't actually want any of this. Because that then means you can stop trying to get it. And it all falls into place. That's half the battle, trying to figure out what you actually want. I can live with this.

And then you have to figure out what you will do and how you can live to get it. I've laid to rest any misguided expectations of my own to be financially stable, to earn 50 k a year my first year out of uni (now I cannot even fathom that amount of money) or put a deposit down on a house. I've come to terms with this, and it's OK, it's what I want.

Because instead of this, I'm trying to set up a life I don't have to run away from. I don't want to live for the weekends or annual leave. I would rather work an unpaid internship that allows me to be where I want to be, doing what I want to do, than get paid an amount that would satisfy only my bank account and leave me struggling for air forty plus hours a week.

Everybody is different. To be a shaved-head hippy in a country nobody has heard of or very little about is definitely not everybody's dream of success (although I personally will argue for the intrinsic value of being completely bald at least once in your life). Each to their own.

Growing up and all this 'maturity' business is really just about one decision. Choosing to make others happy or choosing to make yourself happy. Sometimes they overlap, a lot of the time they don't. You just gotta make the call.

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