Don’t worry about it

I know it’s hard for us to not worry about the big ol’ F word but I’m here to tell you one thing: don’t worry about it. Too often we get caught up in an existential crisis where we have no idea what the fuck we’re doing, why we’re doing what we’re doing, when will things get better, how can we make things better and well, the big ol’ F word.

When I say F word, I don’t mean fuck. I mean the other F word: future. Kid, you have a long life ahead of you so you really shouldn’t be sitting there sweating the future. Like you, I’ve been under the pump before where you think you need to have it all figured out then you go ahead and figure it out and when it doesn’t work, you count your breathing seconds, worry about the grey hairs sprouting and freak out because of the other swear word that starts with T: time.

You have all the time in the world to work out what it is you want to do or work out how to get to where you want to be. It all comes down to working out what makes you happy and building the bridge that’s gonna take you there. Bearing in mind, you’re also gonna have to cross that god damn bridge.

When I was in my last year of high school, I remember saying to myself “listen, you’re going to go to Victoria University. You’re going to do a double degree in Law and Arts majoring in Art History and Classical Studies. As part of NCEA, you’re going to sit four scholarship exams and you’re going to ace them all. You’re going to graduate top of your class and you’re going to work for a law firm and rake in that dough.” Fast forward to a year later and I’m thinking “fuck law. I could do this but spending five years of my life doing something I’m not enjoying and having a big ass student loan and not wanting to be lawyer. Is it worth it? Fuck, what do I do with myself?” Well, I left uni and moved back home to live with my parents and worked at a supermarket while I figured out what I wanted to do with myself. I went back to uni the following year and did a BA majoring in Art History and Classics. I loved it but unfortunately, I had met a boy back home and I loved him more. So I moved back to be with him and put my degree on hold.

A year after that, I studied Journalism because I knew I loved writing and research. I’m happy to report that I graduated and won an award for best feature for an article I wrote. Six years from graduating and I’m not a journalist.

I am however working in communications. I’ve also started this blog so I’m spending my days continuing to write and share my thoughts with the world. Some days, I still want to be a journalist. Other days, I want to finish my BA and maybe be an archaeologist or a curator. Hell, I have days where I want to open a dating agency and hook people up (a la Undateables and Millionaire Matchmaker)! All of my days though, I just want to be a happy, free spirit who writes about anything and everything.

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Photo credit: the very talented dawnchapmanphoto!

What I’m trying to say is, I’m still trying to work it out. I’m about to turn 27 and most of the people I know are married, getting married, popping out babies, about to pop out baby(ies), working in a stellar corporate job or just, you know, getting high and chilling. You’re worried because some people have their shit together and you don’t. Let me tell you, those people are either good actors or have been where you’re at and have worked it out but fight the battle at least once or twice a year. It’s okay to not know what you want to do in the future. All you need to work out is what you want to do now and what you’re going to do to get there.

You’ve got a long road ahead of you kid. Don’t worry about it and just live.

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Photo credit: LifeHack @ Pinterest

Mr Mitty and I

I think we all encounter at least once in our life a book, a movie, a song or a tune that really resonates with us. It speaks to us in a way that others will never understand and stays with us forever.

That’s what happened when I was exposed to Mr Mitty. For those of you who don’t know who or what I’m talking about, Walter Mitty is a character from a short story of the same name written by James Thurber. He first appeared in the New Yorker in 1939. In 2013, a movie adaptation was released and stars Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig. I think it’s such an inspirational movie and was crafted beautifully.

Mr Mitty is a daydreamer; he transports himself into a wild and elaborate world of imagination to escape the mundaneness of reality. In the short story, he escapes his weekly shop with his wife and her trip to the beauty parlour. In the movie, he escapes his workplace, his responsibilities and ultimately, his average life. Walter’s journey to find a missing negative leads him on an adventure of a lifetime. I also love that the evolution of his e-Harmony profile is used to show how much he grows and progresses as a person and it details his life experiences in the space of a few weeks.

What I love the most about the movie is Life magazine’s motto:

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I shamelessly have this quote printed and hanging above my desk at work. It’s corny but it really inspires me and I know it inspires a lot of people and I’m glad it does. When I start to feel stagnant at work and question what I’m doing and why I’m there, I look at the quote and I’m reminded that I’m working towards the bigger picture.

I think a valuable lesson we can all take from Mr Mitty is that while extreme daydreaming/’mittyism’ is okay, why waste life just dreaming when you can go out there and make it a reality? Don’t wait around for things to happen – go and make it happen. And if you can’t, why not? What’s stopping you? Can you find a solution?

I feel like for far too long, I’ve been putting off travelling for various reasons: career, relationships, fear and ultimately, money. I’m not going to lie; money is still an issue. Unfortunately I’m a lover of new superficial things and living a life of luxury so that doesn’t help when you need to save money for tickets, accommodation, transportation and well, experiences because some of them don’t come cheap!

But it’s okay to live the poor life because I know in the end I’m going to be rich… rich in experiences that is! And who knows, I might just meet my ABC man at the other end of the Earth.

For those of you who don’t know what ABC is, it’s another Mitty reference:

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Well Mr Mitty, I hope you stay in my life for a while yet and continue to inspire me to reach out to my dreams and make it a reality. I’m not going to lie, the thought of travelling is terrifying because it’s way out of my comfort zone but, another movie reference: life is about courage and going into the unknown.

My challenge to you (yes you! The person my friend Emma is pointing to!!) don’t just sit there and be afraid… grow some balls and go out into the unknown. Even if you don’t succeed, you’ll come back richer. With a moustache and maybe a sombrero.

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If you haven’t read the story or watched the movie, I highly recommend it.

Photo credit: Drunken photo booth pic from a staff Christmas party