Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here, but I feel like I'm finally coming into myself, at least a little bit.
I know it's something I've mentioned on the blog before, but your twenties are the time for you to go out into the world and make mistakes and find yourself (as silly as that expression may be). I feel like I'm now maybe coming to realise that that's what's happening to me.
I recently turned 23 (like, last month recently) and I have to say, I wasn't a fan. I was kind of depressed around the time of my birthday and I didn't want to be yet another year older without really having changed that much since last year or the year before. It's entirely possible that the fact that I still had no idea what I wanted to do, that my friendships were kind of on the downturn and some other personal relationships weren't (aren't) where I'd like them to be had a part to play in my feelings but there's no point trying to analyse.
Being that I'm in this state of unemployment and still living with my mother, it's given us a lot of opportunity to have discussions about life and what I'm going to do and where I've come from. It's kind of weird to write about, but I guess this is a personal blog and I'm free to do what I want with it – she was saying that when I was little she was afraid that I was going to be a bit of a pushover in later life because I was always so calm with the people and other kids that I interacted with. It turns out, however, that that's not the case.
The conversation got me to thinking about it and I'm proud to say that I think she's right. There are actually a few things that have got me thinking in the same vein that I've come across lately – maybe it's that I'm more attuned to it because of the conversation or I'm subconsciously seeking out websites and videos that are related.
One of these things is a video that I watched on Garance Doré's youtube channel which was a recording of a Google Hangout session she hosted. It was all about career and professional life as opposed to regular everyday life/fashion advice, but one of the things she said (and yes, I took notes, because I'm a geek, but I'm paraphrasing) was “to me, a brand is values, you need to figure out what you are but more importantly what you're not and what you don't want. That defines what you do and helps people understand you”
Okay, she was saying this in regards to a brand or what you put out professionally but I think it also applies on a personal level. That and the conversation with my mother made me realise that I while I may not know what I do want at all times, I do know what I don't want, or what I don't agree with. I am the kind of girl that will stand up for things if she believes strongly enough in them, or will get into arguments (with some people more than others) if there is a sense of injustice or just... stupidity. One of my favourite quotes is “I didn't always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be” - Diane von Furstenberg (find more DVF quotes here - I think she's fabulous and I kind of want her to be like, my wise and fashionable aunt or something)
I found it when I was clearing out my mum's desk a few weeks ago and it struck me because this was back still when I had no clue but I remember thinking "surely that's the most important thing I can do - to find the kind of woman I want to be, the kind of values I want to have and be sure of that, and then I'll be set for whatever life has to throw at me"
Finally, one last point I'd like to cover was from a conversation I had tonight - so, okay, I have an idea of what I want to do at the moment, how I can envisage my life and career developing at the moment. The thing is that it doesn't matter if 5 or 10 years down the line I change my mind and go in a completely different direction - nothing is set in stone when it comes to career and it is never too late to change what I want to do. The thing that is important, the thing I want set in stone is the kind of person I am.
I guess the point of me posting all this was for anyone who happens to be reading this, especially if you're in your twenties and feeling a bit lost - don't stress too much about knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life right now. That's gonna change. I think it's ridiculous that in the UK we're asked to figure out what we want to do with ourselves when we're 14 choosing our options for GCSEs - I wanted to be a graphic designer back then and while I think it would be really cool to do still, I know a lot of people my age are doing things with themselves that have absolutely nothing to do with what they studied when they were fifteen/sixteen. I'm getting kind of like a broken record here, but I really think that the most important thing to do is figure out who you are as a person and the rest will come to you. Just go out and enjoy life, keep your eyes open for opportunities and inspiration will strike.
(did I sound too much like a self help book here?)