dolmache asked: Should I get a career-type-reliable-good-steady-well-paying job as an estate agent, or hold out for a job in a bakery or tea shop (because that's what I want to do with my life, ultimately)? I'm in a quandary and I'm twenty-years-old and I don't have a clue what to do or how to deal with real life, because y'know, I'm twenty and can't even handle making breakfast most days.
The first thing I want to say is this: there is nothing wrong with working in a bakery or a tea shop.
You know this, and I know this, but I have a feeling that other people in your life do not know this because they have you feeling wishy-washy about the thing you think you want. You have these words bouncing around in your head - career, reliable, steady, well-paying - and they’re words someone (or, more likely, more than one someone) has said to you before. It is hard not to internalize other people’s ideas of success. It is hard to do things that you believe will disappoint your parents, or somehow invalidate your education. It is hard to grow up.
But what I want to tell you is this: you are twenty. At twenty, you probably don’t really know what you ultimately want to do yet. I don’t mean that you haven’t thought plenty about your future. I’m guessing it’s all you can think about these days. When you are twenty, your future looms. Your future is a big, impossible, untouchable thing. When you are twenty, you can’t know for sure what you ultimately want to do. You can’t know it at thirty, either. And I have a feeling that at forty, you’ll still have mornings when you can’t handle making breakfast. That’s ok.
You are going to change so much over the next few years. You are going to change your mind and change it back again. You are going to discover that some things you want may not be feasible if you work in a bakery or tea shop. And other things will be. Every now and then, you are going to grow bored and restless, no matter where you work.
Don’t worry right now about what you ultimately want. Worry about today. Worry about making breakfast. Worry about being happy this week. Try the thing you think you want. And if you find that it makes you bored and restless, if you find that you want more money or healthcare or kinder coworkers or different responsibilities or bigger challenges, try something else.
That’s what you do. You keep trying different things until you wrap your arms around that big, impossible, untouchable future. Hold that quandary in your arms - it’s yours.