This week, like many of the past seven weeks, I went to class, I went to work, I had a few cups of coffees in between (Coffee Bean #regrets), and I asked myself what the meaning of my life was. Looking back a few episodes in this telenovela I call my life, I was celebrating my new job dressing the stars. I thought I had finally made it. But then the question hit me that besides the paycheck that I was getting out of it and the allure that working with famous people had, what was really calling me to this career?
While I continued to have a one-on-one Oprah-level intervention with myself, I realized that perhaps it was the pressure to “have my life together” (and an Instagram-worthy one at that) that drove me to want to be in such a glamorous industry. Now, I want to be clear; I am not coming for anyone that works in the limelight. I wouldn’t be working towards a degree in entertainment public relations if it wasn’t something that I was passionate about. No tea, no shade, just lemonade. *snaps fingers in a “Z” formation*
It’s just that when I really looked into my future, I didn’t want to come to the end and have people’s main remarks at my funeral be, “Wow, that chick really knew how to slay an outfit” or “That girl, her bank account was poppin’.” I want people to remember me for all the causes that I care about, for all the compassion and kindness I carry in my heart, and for the lives I touch. I want people to see my life for the quality of the picture, not the quantity of likes. But in order for others to see that, I have to first start seeing what matters through that lens.
I think every student – especially all us seniors out here – has experienced a sort of “young life” crisis at some point. It could be something as little as dealing with your first C in a class to something like switching your major late in the game, or maybe going through a more personal hardship. If you’re anything like me, you may have already experienced multiple. Lucky us.
I think the honest truth is that all of us 18 to 22-year-old people going through this process we call “higher education” come out a little different than we came in. Of course there is the $60,000 per year worth of “perspective and knowledge” we gain, but I also think we all are forced to come face-to-face with worry like never before in our lives.
It was just last year when I learned what a W4 was, opened a savings account, and really started asking myself what I wanted to do for the rest of my life that would A) bring me some semblance of joy and B) bring me some food, clothes, and shelter. And in the mix of all that worry and questioning, I think I got a little too caught up in the latter like I’m sure many of us do.
So to get to the somewhat drawn-out point now, don’t let that fear of having a life that just looks good on paper make you settle for something that doesn’t feel good – something that doesn’t fulfill your soul, your passions, your true values. Queue corny yet inspirational statement: Wouldn’t you rather find those answers now than live with the regret that you never had the courage to even question it later?