So, you’ve graduated and realized that the real world is absolutely nothing like you imagined it. You thought that after college life was supposed to be easy and you would automatically land that high paying job and have life figured out. Then you wake up, and realize that success doesn’t come easy. The life you dreamed of having when you were younger doesn’t just appear over night. The degree you just spent the last, however many years of your life getting, doesn’t automatically make you a CEO.
It’s easy to have a mental picture in your head of what you THINK your future will look like. I can remember sitting in the fold-out chair at my graduation ceremony, possibly rolling my eyes at the choice of class song, and thinking of how I could not WAIT to get the heck out of that small town. I wanted to go to college and study Journalism, then report from the sidelines of NFL football games and live a life in a big city with lots of excitement.
Fast forward 6 years later and here I am, laughing at my 17 year old self who thought I had every idea of what I wanted for my future. First came love, then came marriage, and then came the baby in the baby carriage. Surprisingly, then came divorce and single-motherhood. Did it suck? Yes. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.
If I have learned anything in my 25 years, it’s that life is what you make of it. When it turns out unexpected and nothing like you planned, go back to your drawing board and re-create yourself. Be prepared to work hard. I mean really, truly, work your ass off. Not only be determined, but refuse to fail. If my present self could go back 6 years and kick my 17 year old self’s butt, I would totally do it! I would have seized every opportunity that came my way, I would have gone to the college I wanted to go to and never looked back, and I would have fought like hell to have the career that I wanted. Granted, I’m so blessed and thankful to be a mom to the most amazing 4 year old on the planet and he’s by far the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
What I’m trying to say to all of you girls out there, is that it’s not enough to just have a dream or go after it anymore. You have to CHASE it down and want it more than anything in your soul. Be selfish in your twenties, take chances, be open to new opportunities. Be ok with the idea of your future looking nothing like you’ve pictured in your mind. Ambition is so unappreciated and rare these days. A lot of young girls stop living for themselves and start settling. Maybe it’s for a relationship or maybe it’s for other reasons, but If I can say anything to those girls out there it’s that whatever YOU choose to do, whatever path YOU choose to take, make sure your heart agrees with it. Make sure you still decide to live for yourself and follow YOUR dreams.
5 years from now, 10 years from now, your life may look completely different than what you had imagined. You may find it’s better than you could have ever imagined, or you may wonder how the heck you got there. Whatever the case may be, I hope you never settle.
Just remember, if you give up on your dream, you will end up working for someone who decided not to give up on theirs.