Tonight I was sitting in a room full of adult women. When I mean adult, I do not mean people my age. I was with women ten years older than me, women in their 30s with stable careers and a kind of self-confidence one only gets with age.
I listened to them talk about the jobs they’ve had, relationships started and ended and I thought to myself, I would get there someday.
I was 23, juggling odd jobs at a fastfood, working as a social media marketing assistant, volunteering as a graphic designer while going through a mentorship program that confused me more than it helped me. I wasn’t skilled in one thing enough to know where I was supposed to go. Everyone wanted answers, wanted to know what I wanted to do, what I planned to do. But as a jack of all trades, master of none, I too was confused.
While I sat there I found myself zooming out from the scene. I saw a 30-something me in that room telling myself to stop worrying, to stop being so anxious and insecure.
I would get there some day. I just had to go out and do whatever it took to fuel my growth. I wouldn’t be an empty vessel for long. I will eventually take shape in the form that I wanted to. Life’s experiences narrows down the options for you as you go along. You start learning what you can’t stand, what’s okay, what you want. I was just in that stage of not knowing yet. Sure, I hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do but one by one I started to chuck out the things I didn’t want to do. I knew I didn’t want to be in the food and beverage industry for long, I finally realized that though visual merchandising seemed to be interesting it was an option I only considered because I thought I could only get jobs in retail. I was going through my list of crossed out options. I was going through life.
Everybody seemed to be lost in their early 20s. Contemporaries were either going to law school or taking their masters. I didn’t have those options available to me either. I worried about those things as I opened beer can after beer can while working in a sports stadium.
And whenever I worried I told myself to visualize the relationships i would enter, the skills i wanted to learn, the career i wanted to grow into. Now, whenever I feel so afraid about my future, I go back to this quote all the time: