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Slow Down

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

I remember the first career day I ever attended. I was just a little kid, I think around 5 or 6, so most of the day is a blur, but one part I remember is me and my fellow classmates all going around the room and saying what we wanted to be when we grew up. We had been encouraged to dress up as our 'dream jobs' and the room was a chaotic blend of small wannabe firemen, doctors, police officers and princesses (again, little kids so that was still a very realistic career goal).

Six year old me's 'dream job' was to be a Veterinarian. I remember wearing a long white coat, having a stethoscope, first aid kit and a plush puppy that I very dramatically and impressively put a band-aid on as the whole room watched in awe. I was confident that this was who I wanted to be and that I now had my whole life planned out. All at the ripe old age of six years old.

I'm sure some of you are laughing, and you're right too. Because as I got older, I realized that being a vet took a lot more work and, shocking I know, way more school. When the science classes got more difficult and I learned that my 'dream job' wouldn't be as easy as a single band-aid earning thunderous applause from fellow classmates, I choose a different 'dream job'.

And then a different one.

And a different one.

And a different one until I ended up where I am now- doing a job I never thought I would do (I'll still never like doing taxes) and getting ready to go back to school, as much as younger me would be appalled by the thought.

But aside from the willing decision to take more classes, I think younger me would also be shocked by the fact that we still haven't achieved our 'dream job', which as everyone knows is the first step to reaching the 'dream life'. And finally reaching that 'dream job', 'dream life', 'dream house', etc. is the sure sign that we're finally happy and made it and can ultimately relax a little, right?

I used to think so, too. But lately, if I'm completely honest, I don't even know what specifically I want that 'dream job' or life to look like anymore. And that's completely okay.

I think a big problem for us today is how much pressure there is to be 'successful' now and achieve our 'dreams' now, specifically in a way that others will see and tell us how amazing we are or how cool our lives are. There's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, especially if you're like me and you need a little peer pressure to get your game face on, but I think lately it feels like we've gone beyond that. It's almost like there's this mindset that 'because so-and-so did this before I did that, that means I have to do this before anyone else does that, or else I'm falling behind'. And that's ridiculous when you say it out loud.

But we continue to think that way despite how wildly ridiculous it is. And why? Because we want to seem 'successful' so we can have a bit of a reprieve from that unknown outside pressure that feels like a boa constrictor that somehow gets tighter and tighter despite how much life planning we do, despite how young we are when we achieve that 'dream job' or despite how many people tell us we're amazing and we've made it.

The truth is, no one I know feels like they've actually made it until they intentionally choose to believe they've made it. Until you stop looking forward to the imagined future that you keep pining after, you'll never truly feel fulfilled. Present day life can be crazy and out of our control for most people anyways, and it deserves all our focus rather than the daydream we wish we were in. Besides, planning out the future to the last detail is a bit counterintuitive. I mean, it's literally the future- it's unknown. So there's a good chance what you are imagining won't even happen exactly the way you're wanting.

In just the short 22 years I've lived, I think I've done and experienced so much more already than I ever thought I would. And the one thing I've consistently learned is that the unexpected, random things that I didn't plan or prepare for are usually way more fun and fulfilling then whatever I was wishing for anyways. So I encourage you now to take a deep breath, let that anxiety about having to be 'successful' fade, and focus on the life and people that are before you now.

What will happen in the future, will happen. There isn't a thing we can do to control it or stop it. So trust that the plans for your future will be good and better than you could even imagine, and turn your gaze towards the day already before you. You might be in your 'dream life' right now and haven't even realized it yet.

Love y'all!

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1 commentaire

Danette Cimicato
Danette Cimicato
07 mars 2022

Love it Soph!

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