I think most people can relate to the idea that if you work hard, get an education, and find a job doing something you love, then you’ll be happy. Or at least, we can all relate to being told that growing up.
In the most general of ways, this has proved accurate for me. I’ve worked hard, I went to college and I’m gainfully employed using the skills I went to college for. Considering this hasn’t been the case for everyone, I’d say my life is “meeting expectations.”
But here’s the thing: success and happiness are not the same thing for everyone. We define these concepts in our own ways, and what one person might consider absolutely killing it in the life department may not seem so appealing to another.
I have a job. I have an apartment. I have friends. I travel. And I am incredibly grateful for all of these things.
But for some reason, it’s not quite right. It’s missing something. Everything is just a little bit…off.
And it’s because of one simple fact: the life I have is not the life I want.
I don’t really want to spend 8-9 hours of my day sitting behind a desk, staring at a computer screen and working to build someone else’s dream.
I don’t want to feel trapped in a studio apartment in the city with no car for exploring the world around me.
I don’t want to settle for a few weekend trips here and there, and one big vacation every year.
For me, personally, happiness and success mean something different than what most people would consider a very safe, stable lifestyle. It means creative freedom, flexibility to travel, and a little more time outside.
That’s the beauty of being in charge of our own lives — we get to pick what is right for us. Not everyone can (or should) live the same dreams.
We set priorities, decide what matters to us most, and then we go after our dreams. And for each person, those dreams should be a little different.
The vision I have for my life may be a little less traditional, and that’s okay. Because while there is nothing wrong with the life I have, it doesn’t quite fit me right now.
Granted, this wasn’t always the case. There was a time when all I wanted was a stable 9-5 job. But it was only after finally achieving this goal that I realized: I want to try something different.
So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.