Where Are You Going?


It's a question you may get asked at any point in your daily life. Maybe the taxi driver asked you recently when you got into his car, or perhaps it was your mum the last time you went flying out of the door at 9pm on a Saturday night. Physically, we're always going places and that's the easy part. That is when 99% of the time, I know the answer. It's mentally, and metaphorically that it's sometimes a bit of a struggle or just, well, confusing. 

I know I'm not alone on this. I just came out of university, I got a 2:1 in English (go me) and graduate in November. I'm excited and nervous for the occasion. I get to see my fellow coursemates and the lecturers again - all of whom on both counts are some of the most genuinely kind, encouraging and intelligent people I've had the pleasure to meet. Why we graduate so late, I'm not entirely sure, but it's bound to be a momentous occasion in my 21 years, and after the obstacles I overcame to finish the course, I openly admit I am and will be so incredibly proud of myself to get up on that stage and be presented with my certificate.

Beyond that, where am I going? Do you know what? Perhaps I'm supposed to keep this a secret but I don't entirely know. This is not because I'm not focused, hard-working, enthusiastic or lack ambition. I'm usually quite a modest person but I'm confident in my abilities, I've applied myself to my work since as long as I can remember and generally, I reap what I sow. It's more that when faced with so many potential job opportunities, applications, ideas and long-term goals, it is easy to get overwhelmed. 

When I log into Facebook, I see Grace helping to build a school in Kenya, Beth studying at a top American University, Sam who's just landed "his dream career in Finance", the statuses are never-ending. I'm happy for these people. I've seen some of them overcome huge adversities to get where they are - family members passing away, battles with physical and mental illnesses, a lack of money or constant juggling of work, uni and family commitments. I admire them all and am so proud of my friends for securing graduate jobs or pursuing self-employment. 

Now you're probably thinking "Hannah, where are you going with this post?" I think, the main point of it is that eventually, we must learn to accept this: everyone has their own path in life. I remember I had a 'friend' and without going into any detail because who they are is irrelevant, I was I suppose jealous of how they tackled their problems. We were close but far from similar. I was always envious of their laid-back ways, their ability to juggle a tiring lifestyle and make very little fuss, but when you learn to accept that people around you have different ways of dealing with the bad, you become a lot more happier. Now, when I catch a glimpse of things going wrong for them, I wish I could say "It'll be okay. You can do it." No matter what you see or how well you think you know someone, no one is perfect, no one is happy 100% of their life and no doubt you can do things they can't. It is so crucial you don't define yourself by what you can't do, or compare your negative to someone else's positives. 

So where am I going? At the moment, I'm not sure but what I can promise it'll be somewhere good, where I can be myself, motivate the people around me and make an impact. Next time someone asks where you're going, don't be afraid to say it's a work in progress. Whether it's at 21 or 71, it takes time to find our place, and no one should ever be ashamed of that.

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