“At 23, Jk Rowling was broke. Tina Fey was working at the Y.M.C.A. Oprah had just got fired from her first job as a TV reporter and Walt Disney had declared bankruptcy. It’s going to be okay.”
I’ve seen this quote shared around Facebook and it was just what I needed to hear. Like many people my age, I worry about what I’m doing with my life and compare myself to my friends who ‘seemingly’ having it all figured out. I know people who are getting married and having children. Others have bought their first houses. Some are at university. Some have their first ‘proper’ jobs earning a steady salary. Others have gone travelling.
And then I look at myself and what I’m doing. And the truth is, I don’t really know. I am a trained actor who has been fortunate enough to have some amazing acting jobs, but this year due to an injury and bad luck things have been very quiet. That’s why I started blogging and YouTube as I finally found something which which me allows me to use my creative side and gets me excited again! But I’m not naive enough to think that this will turn into a career overnight. I really enjoy writing my blog and filming videos but I’m hardly Zoella who has worked extremely hard for 7 years to create a following of 11 million. I’m proud of my 18 subscribers after making my first video! But as hard as I work on my blog and YouTube channel it ultimately is just a fun hobby, during this quiet patch in my acting career. It’s a better use of my time than binging on Netflix (which I have done… a LOT).
I quit a part time job for various reasons earlier this year, but fundamentally it was making me unhappy. This was the right decision for me, but it didn’t stop me feeling like I somehow failed. I currently teach dance, drama and singing twice a week. And as much joy as I get out of those few hours a week, that’s all I really do which makes me feel like a ‘proper adult’.
But if I take a step back and look at my life, I’m actually in a pretty amazing position. For the first time in my life I have really good relationships with all the people I surround myself with. I see friends drifting away and I have been guilty of drifting myself, but am supported by the people I have in my life. From my old friends, to my newer friends, to my parents, to my boyfriend; I’m actually VERY lucky that this part of my life is looking pretty darn good!
Meeting someone who wanted to travel as much as me, meant my boyfriend and I have been on several very affordable city breaks to see places I never imagined I’d go to when I was a teenager! I went to New York with my mum this year (a belated 21st birthday present) a place I’d always DREAMED of visiting! I also went away for a week with a best friend who I only met less than 2 years ago! And if I had all the other commitments I feel I’m lacking in my life, maybe I wouldn’t have had the opportunity for these experiences.
So maybe at 23 (or any age in fact) we aren’t sure what we’re supposed to be doing with our lives. Everyone is so quick to compare themselves to their peers and their ‘ideal’ looking lives on social media. I am guilty of it myself! I only Snapchat photos of my fun nights out and write Facebook statuses describing my triumphs; but never when I’m struggling. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with only sharing the positive, but it is important to remember that a picture perfect Instagram page doesn’t tell the full story.
So for anyone who is 23, (although we are still convinced we are 21 as that only feels like yesterday, right?!) we have time to figure it all out. Whatever age you are in fact, whether you’re 16 or 60, you don’t have to have every second of your future figured out. You might even discover something new and even more exciting than what your originally planned. I just want to make the most of every opportunity and not be too hard on myself if I do have a day when my motivation doesn’t stretch to getting out my dressing gown… we are only human after all!
If you are not going to worry about it in 5 years time, then why give it more than 5 minutes of your energy right now? So here is to being 23 and enjoying life. Now let’s see what the future has in store…