Healthful Ideas, Writing, thoughts
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Certainty of Uncertainty

Lately it’s becoming clear to me that on a fairly regular basis I’m with a lot of people at various stages of their life; some people are on way different levels.

I’ve got friends that are engaged, co-workers that are newly married, friends graduating college, people close to the end of college, colleagues who are older and married, a few people heading toward college, other people making major geographical moves and still other people on the prowl for jobs.

It’s become more and more clear that people can be at various stages of life and still have existential crises regardless of their age. I

strongly believe I realize this now more than ever as I am out of college. But why?

Because for the first time, life isn’t regimented. Sure, college is a “choice” but for the most part it’s really not a choice if you want to get a “good” job.

So, most people take the college track. Which is fine. I don’t regret it. But I do think the way we think about looking at life and success needs to be changed. College shouldn’t be the focal point and foundation for everything.

This is a mathematical equation that leads to success:

success

And this is basically how we see life.

Note that there are steps that follow a proper order. This life process is basically what most U.S. kids are taught at a young age, in overt and subtle ways.

Deviating from this very systematic approach seems dastardly. Yet, post-college many people are wondering what they should be doing.

I think this happens because post-college seems to me to be one of the first times people actually HAVE to think. The steps prior to graduating college were regulated, if you chose college you ultimately decided on a major but for the most part you had specific classes within that major you were obligated to take.

Post-college life means freedom and for a lot of people that can be scary. But freedom should be looked upon with hope and possibility!

For me, my personal freedom came with the liberation of debt from student loans:

Image

Paying off this horrifically large amount of debt was so freeing. I absolutely abhor owing anyone anything, money in particular, and I felt trapped with the weight of my loans on me. I didn’t feel like there was any flexibility in my job pursuits and feared what might happen if I  pursued another opportunity and then lost my job. I felt trapped.

While I still feel a bit stuck sometimes, I’m trying to learn to embrace the uncertainty that is life. Not everything can go according to plan, and not everyone who seems to “have it together” does.

I’m finally debt-free but I can’t say that I have all the answers. I do know that managing short-term and long-term goals, no matter how lofty, is one of the best ways to move forward and stay motivated. You can’t figure everything out, but you can make progress toward doing what you want to do with your life.

One of my short-term goals was to pay off all of my loans within a year of graduating college. And I did it!! I kept a promise amidst the uncertainty of life.

It just seems like one of the few things you can find solace in is being certain of uncertainty in life.

I hope that most people (including myself) choose happiness over money, meaningful work over monotony, and look forward rather than look back.

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This entry was posted in: Healthful Ideas, Writing, thoughts

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Alexandra Foran: Alexandra is an enthusiastic yoga instructor who enjoys sharing the gift of yoga and meditation with people of all ages. She is flexible and accommodating to all as she leads a practice from the heart. Extending warmth and love to all is a blessing for her. Yoga has personally helped her to heal and grow in profound ways. Yoga helps create balance and harmony; as someone who is highly intuitive, empathic, and a sensitive being she used to often be ill and regularly overextend herself -- she now seeks the peace that yoga can bring to her practice and life. As a poet, writer, musician and artist she infuses different aspects of the creative arts into her classes to create a higher vibration. During particular segments of her classes she uses guided imagery and live music. Alex plays upright bass, electric bass guitar, electric upright bass, violin, guitar, drums, rainmakers, baby harps, singing bowls, crystal bowls, recorders, and didgeridoo. Alexandra is a certified yoga instructor and a certified Reiki Master.

2 Comments

  1. Thank-you for the great post. I think it is one of the nicer aspects of life that after college you make friends and acquaintances in different stages of life. I have friends from teenagers to people who long ago retired and I think it helps give me and them a better perspective on things.

    What you say about debt is certainly something I can relate to. I don’t have any debt except a mortgage but it hovers over my shoulder like an alien attack force hovering in the sky. Pretty much everything I do in life is done with consideration to that mortgage. Having been made redundant several times (it truly is the downside to being alive in this modern period) I am more conscious than most of what can go wrong but now the mortgage is 90% complete and though I lost my job recently I feel like one of those marathon runners who crosses the line by falling on it 🙂 Still I cut 15 years off the loan and countless extra money in interest rates.

    Of course, ours is one of the cheapest homes and we have ambitions to do better for ourselves but when we move to a bigger or nice home, it will be because we saved the extra money rather than burden ourselves with an easy to find but long to pay off mortgage.

    I have read much in the newspapers in the last week or so of people just giving up working now in their thirties and forties. They just want to do something that is enjoyable and not be to all intents and purposes a modern day slave, forced to do long hours, commutes and pressurised job just to pay for their debts, even if their debts are their homes.

    I both strived for this opportunity and also had it thrust onto me at the same time and it feels so good not to be trapped anymore and not feel like I am wasting my life as I and many colleagues did, day in and day out. I hope you move forward doing what feels right for you and not because of what people tell you or expect of you (I know all about that).

    There are so many expectations of how to behave and what to do but we only have one life and I know I long ago grew sick of only having the nice bits a few weeks of the year at holidays and the odd weekend and even these felt overshadowed by work and debt.

    People have asked me what I am doing these days, I have to get back to the grindstone yet as I am not even 40 right? Well how much of our long hours at work is to pay for things we don’t even want or need. If you reduce your expenditure to do the simple things, you need less cash. People seem to work so hard for things they feel forced to have or like. I mean I spent £55 or about $85 a week on fuel for the car, (let alone all the other work related expenses) and that is after downsizing to a small fuel efficient vehicle a year ago. all to waste my days at work. So much salary is spent buying things just to go to work or fit in.

    From now on, if I can do just a little better than get by but actually be happy and have spare time on my hands then that is all I want but I am only going to do that by doing something I like for myself.

    Sorry for the rant! I just liked your article as it really resonates with me.

    • Thank you for reading, liking, and commenting! I totally agree with you, I have friends within similar age ranges and it’s really insightful for me to hear about their experience (and hopefully vice versa).

      Stephen, I had absolutely NO IDEA how freeing it would be to be without student loan debt. Sure, I’d imagined it would be magical and worthwhile but the moment I saw the balance of $0.00 was truly a moment of elation – anything felt possible. I didn’t feel guilty, like I owed anyone anything. It is truly incredible how much you were able to put toward your house’s mortgage in such a short amount of time. Hard work, dedication, and motivation of that caliber should be commended. Congratulations! I’m rooting for you, and hey, even if you fall onto the finish line at least you were able to make it to the end of the mortgage race 😛

      I too have read more and more about people switching careers or even starting startups or other types of self-employment opportunities in their thirties and forties. I think that’s exciting! As long as you’re able to do what you love, why not go for it?

      Didn’t a fellow Brit once pen the words “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them”? Is it egotistical to say that perhaps we’re “all of the above”? Lol. I kid! Thank you for your kind words, I definitely hope that I continue to do what I want/need to and not worry about what others think I should be doing.

      You are so right. Life shouldn’t feel like a wasted 9-5 job with a few fleeting moments of happiness on weekends or holidays. Life shouldn’t be like the typical weather in London, only a few rays of sun every now and again but mostly rainy days (hope that joke isn’t in pour taste [haha puns {get it? because of raining/pouring!}]).

      Brilliant point about decreasing spending and focusing on what you need. I know I personally have far too much, and I’m taking my time and trying to figure out what it is I really need. I’ve been donating several bags of clothes (good quality clothing still, mind you) and other items that I never use.

      Ain’t that the truth, to do something you like for your own sake. That’s the dream, and it can be a reality.

      Definitely not a rant at all and no apologies required! It’s nice to know that you can relate. I am glad that you shared your thoughts 🙂 Thank you.

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