- You are unique
- There’s no need to “fall behind”
- Progress is possible
Getting Started in Life
It can be strange when you’re just getting started in life. Whether you’ve just gotten a “real” job, are going through a divorce, or finishing up another round of grad school, you don’t have to wait for someone else to tell you either that you’re ready to get started or that you are already on your way. Keep these things in mind on your journey and really learn to be in support of yourself and your own dreams.
You are an Individual
Each person is unique – there’s no one who has had the exact experiences you’ve had, the exact education (formal and informal) that you’ve gotten, not even someone who’s had the same thoughts you have had. This individuality brings so many qualities to every project you embark on, and it can be important to celebrate your unique set of skills. Too often people see the destination or goal as the only reason to do things, but the journey matters, as well. It’s no fun getting to where you thought you wanted to be, and realizing it doesn’t mean anything to you any more because of how you got there.
It’s Not a Competition
It’s true that other people may have expectations for how your life will go. You may have parents that want you to go to college, a boss who wants you to stay in a specific job, or even friends who want you to stay in the local area. But your life is just that – yours. And if there is something specific you want out of it, you owe it to yourself to go for it, in the most responsible way you can. This may mean that instead of going to four year school to start, you begin your college career at a community college so that you take on less debt. Or maybe your parents want you to be the next tax attorney but you can’t think of anything more boring. (Or maybe it’s the other way around, and you find it exciting and your folks can’t understand your interest!) Whatever plans you make, it takes you as long as it takes for you to get there. Just because someone else finished college in three and a half years doesn’t mean you will. Just because someone else became a nurse right after college doesn’t mean you have to – maybe you come to the profession later in life, but it matters to you. It really isn’t a race to get somewhere. The journey is the point.
Small Steps are Still Steps
Looking out at other people can lead you to compare yourself to them. Don’t do it. Use others as a source of inspiration, but directly comparing is never going to work. Your individuality means you are absolutely not the same as anyone else. Therefore your life is uniquely your own. Take a step toward your dream. Then take another. Decide the next right thing to do and do it. Waiting to make great big leaps is just waiting and standing still. As Sark says, small steps are still moving you forward, and even if the movement feels like a tiny one, you’re still creating movement. Maybe you’re deciding on your career so you’re working a job you’re not in love with – you’re still saving for retirement and taking care of your health. Maybe you’ve just changed careers and feel like you’re starting from the bottom – you’re learning new skills and adding to your resume. Being the best You that you can be means more than if you were being a copy of someone else.
You can have as many dreams as you want, but you do need to decide where you want to head first. Then get started because you have this life to live.