Monday, 30 June 2014

Are you satisfied?

This is the second time I've written this post - the first time it was just way too deep and I couldn't handle it. This really isn't the place to gush about unnecessary feelings and post unwanted passive aggressiveness (okay, maybe the second.) I'm still not entirely sure that this is even blog-worthy, but lets just roll with it and see how disappointing it is at the end!

I was stuck in a dire traffic jam the other day mulling over some of the pointless things that enter my brain like 'who invented cat's eyes on the side of the road' and 'who thought roundabouts were a good idea,' when I began to consider the future (I think I'm becoming an adult... It's scaring me and will it hurt?) I do tend to do this from time to time, and then I'm reminded that I can just about focus on the here-and-now, let alone 20 years down the line! I supposed that the ultimate goal in life was to be satisfied with the current, and to be prepared for the future. I was thinking about all that I had done in my life, up until that point, which had enabled me to begin along this 'path to satisfaction.'

Before I got too profound and out of character, 'Let It Go' came on the radio and I sang my heart out which was an effective distraction from over-thinking (I hate it when brains do that 'diarrhoea-thought' process thing.)

'To get anywhere in life you need to get A*'s across the board, go to the best college and university until you start work in an office in London' this is what the school system always drummed into the 'high-achieving' children throughout my time in education. Sure, that's a great way of looking at things, but what still angers me to this day is a misconception of what 'success' really is. Today teenagers are being pushed to achieve as many qualifications between A*-C as possible before reaching breaking point, and that's wrong. That success is wrong.

Okay, me: I left School with 16 GCSEs, I went to college and then to university in London and nabbed a 2:1 in classical civilisation. I did this because that's what I thought was the right thing to do. Don't get me wrong, I'm ever so fortunate to have been able to have achieved these things and have been lucky enough to make it to uni, and I loved the experience... but that's not for everyone. All along I wanted to go to university because I didn't want to have an 'average life.' However, now I realise that in reality, I fell into that trap of the cookie-cutter lifestyle.

Wait, maybe I'm being too generic. There is is no 'cookie-cutter' life-plan. What there is, however, is a stigma around success. Whenever you head to a family gathering the question on everyone's lips is 'so what are you doing/what do you want to do in the future?' The ideal answer would be 'I'm a lawyer and/or doctor earning £100k+ a year living in a high-end studio apartment in London.' This is far cry from my 'I'm an ex-student that's earning pennies as a librarian whom lives at home with his parents.' This doesn't mean I'm not working hard, and if your answer is anything like mine, lets stand united for the 'bums' across the world that 'stay at home all day and don't work'.

I have absolutely no problem telling people I run a YouTube channel with my twin brother, a blog, and I work part-time. What I do have a problem with is defending the first two against claims that 'that's not a proper job.' We didn't start our YouTube channel thinking that it would become as popular as it has, and by no means do we aim for it to progress into a 'job.' No, I don't commute to work everyday, but that doesn't mean that my favourite hobby can't be more than that (sorry, this turned into a rant.) What makes me sad is that I was never taught to put my heart before my head until I went to college (where I developed my passion for my degree subject.) 

If a 'proper job' means I need to be miserable for the rest of my life, then I'm gonna pass. I want to see a world where kids are encourageD to follow their passions and dreams, where it's not 'weird' to try something and it's not all about money. Why can't we measure success in happiness rather than what's in our bank accounts?

I don't know, maybe it's silly to try and do something new. What do you think? I can't apologise enough for the rant this warped into. Let me know (especially if you're still at school) your feelings below, it'd be great to talk!

See you soon, robots

Cherry Wallis has written a great response here: