I’ve wanted to publish this post for a while, as it’s been in my drafts for weeks. It’s never going to be perfect but I want to get my thoughts out now.
For my entire life I’ve had a plan. That’s the Type-A in me. I’ve always known what was going to come next, whether it was the next day, week, month or year. But I know I’m not alone in this. Even if you don’t realize it off the bat, think about it, going to school for 15+ years you always know that after 6th grade comes 7th grade. After 7th grade comes 8th. Your plan might not be specific, but it’s there. You know what is going to happen down the line.
Now that I’m about to finish 16th (?) grade next month, also known as graduating from college, it’s the first time in my life I don’t have a concrete plan. Like Phoebe so brilliantly stated, I don’t even have a “pla.” That fact alone has been tough for me to swallow.
Why? Emily always has her sh*t together. She always studies and does well. She is mature for her age. Blah, blah, blah. (<– all my internal thoughts, not actual statements by actual people). Honestly, not going straight from college to grad school or a job felt like a blow to my ego. Key word: felt.
The truth is, I want a break. I’m fortunate enough that I’m in a situation where I don’t have to kill myself job-searching right now. I can afford to spend some time looking for one that fits. I have a long list (literally on a piece of paper) of things I want to do after graduation. Some will be beneficial in the long run (photography classes) and others are just things I WANT to do (travel, cook, write). It has taken me a very long time, but when someone asks me “what are you doing after graduation?” I confidently answer “taking time off at home.”
Honestly, this is part of the reason I worked so hard to graduate early. I wanted time to myself before entering the workforce. I also won’t even be 21 by the time I graduate (story for another day) so I don’t feel a rush to “grow up already,” even if so many of my peers are doing the opposite.
Why am I telling you this? Because this has been an important lesson for me in not caring what other people think. I thought I was pretty confident in my decisions/appearance/actions before but now I’m even more so. I spent a good few months agonizing over my “future” and post-grad plans and it caused a great deal of stress (job-searching, wondering where I should live/move, etc.). I was blinded by my pride and more focused on “keeping up my reputation” than doing what was best for me. No societal implications or unspoken rules will ever cause me that stress again. It’s not worth it. Again, I realize that taking time off isn’t possible or desirable for everyone, and other people might have a better sense of the field they want to enter (I’m still uncertain). I just want to be open and honest about my situation.
I know people who seem like they have it all together, and from the outside it may look like I do too. Please know that is not always the case and I’m all about “faking it until I make it” and learning lessons, both big and small, along the way.
A few months of (productive) funemployment sounds pretty good to me.
*Linking up to Thinking Out Loud*