Twenty-Something Drifting

Twenty-Something Drifting

When I was younger, I used to think that people in their twenties were so grown up. It seemed to me that when I hit 22, I’d have life sorted. Not in the way of marriage or kids but rather that I’d be grounded, with a place of my own and at the start of a fabulous career, enjoying all that ‘adult’ life (whatever that is) had to offer.

Feeling Disillusioned

Well, I feel somewhat disillusioned and I have a sneaky feeling that I’m not alone.
It all started so well. I left University with a great degree and landed the ‘dream’ job in London. On paper, it was perfect. In reality, I’d become a kind of miserable hermit. Tearing my hair out over a computer screen by day, too tired to do anything by night. My parents began to tread carefully around me and I dumped all my negativity onto my poor (and very patient) boyfriend.  I’m sure my friends dreaded meeting up with me because I just whined and whinged. I was pale, spotty, unmotivated and a misery to be around but worst of all I was completely unaware of the effect I was having on those around me.

I didn’t hate my job, in fact there were parts of it that I really loved and I got to work with a bunch of super talented people. Yet in my heart I knew something wasn’t right.

Growing up I was always adamant that I wouldn’t be one of those zombie commuters who stared at a computer screen all day. Yet here I was. My colleagues seemed to manage though, was I just being dramatic and ungrateful?

I Quit My Job

Nevertheless, I went with my gut instinct and quit. In my head this was a really stupid decision because I had a great job and no solid plan lined up once I left. However, the support of the people around me, from colleagues to family, was incredibly reassuring. I was shocked at the number of people who were in a similar position but couldn’t quite muster up the motivation to change their situation. I was lucky though, because I still lived at home and didn’t have any big financial commitments.

So, I’d left my job. Now what? For starters, I feel myself again. I have returned to my extras and walk-on work for television to see me through and I started this blog to keep my creative mind and writing skills ticking over. Yet despite keeping myself busy, earning money and devising plans for the future, I still feel like I’m drifting. What I have realised though, is that I am certainly not alone. So many people I know in their twenties and sometimes their thirties are also ‘drifting’.

Drifting

By ‘drifting’ I don’t mean unemployed or lazing around. I just mean lacking direction. Yet what I have also come to realise recently is that it’s OK to drift. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no point jumping back into something that you know you’re probably going to hate. As long as you’re doing something then you’re covered.

This general uncertainty amongst our generation is most definitely a product of the time. There are so many options – too many options – that it’s difficult to know where to begin. The Internet has opened endless possibilities but in many ways it’s also stifled things. The Internet has let us see so much more of the world, but now we’ll never be satisfied staying in that same office job for the rest of our lives. Furthermore, computers have removed the human touch. Where once people would meet up and have a coffee or lunch, now we send an email. This is a whole other subject which I won’t delve into here but I think this impersonal dimension certainly exasperated my situation at work.

As far as where I’m heading next, I’m starting a new venture this week that I’m really excited about. This time it’s local (goodbye zombie commuter) and not solely office based (goodbye miserable hermit). All in all I’m more than happy just drifting right now – it’s a productive, educational and exciting kind of drift that I’m sure will lead somewhere solid in time.

New Ventures

In the meantime, the best possible summary of this brain dump is beautifully paraphrased by the ever-succint and philosophical genius, Taylor Swift:

“We’re happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time, it’s miserable and magical, oh yeeeeeah… I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22!”

Ah, those years I spent at University learning how to quote academic scholars has clearly served me well…

I would LOVE to hear from anyone who is experiencing a similar kind of twenty-something drifting.

Finally, massive love to the blogging community who have completely overwhelmed me with love and support. It’s what has made me fall in love with blogging!

Jessie x

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20 Comments

  1. 10th August 2015 / 1:54 pm

    Took a quick Instagram break and hopped straight back onto the PC when I saw your post! I couldn’t agree more. I always saw myself growing up to be a writer but it took me a long time to get into jobs where I can flex my creativity, so my 20s have been mostly spent not really working my way up anywhere because I used to take whatever job I could and I was so unprepared for office life.
    I’m on track now I think, I’m in an agency learning loads of new things and I’ve launched my blog to start slowly building it up. The dream is to one day go freelance and use my spare time to write the next Harry Potter 😉 and I’ve found that having the blog as a hobby and basis for my goals actually makes the day-to-day more bearable.

    • Jessie
      Author
      10th August 2015 / 4:28 pm

      Thanks for your comment Kayleigh, great to hear your perspective. I think for a lot of people, we grow up having all these ideas of creativity and then most of us just end up in an office because we need a job! Glad you’re on track now and good luck becoming the next J.K.Rowling 😉 I’ll look out for your name! x

  2. 10th August 2015 / 3:37 pm

    I love this post and am going through the same thing just slightly different circumstances and it’s scary and exciting all at once! We will drift to where we are meant to be soon enough 🙂 I thought I was alone in this so thanks for writing this post 🙂

    • Jessie
      Author
      10th August 2015 / 4:31 pm

      So nice to hear from people who can relate 🙂 Completely agree – it’s awesome to be so free and have so many possibilities but at the same time it’s nerve-wracking and frustrating when you lack direction and ultimately just need to earn money! Good luck with everything and as you say, I’m sure we’ll drift to the right place eventually 🙂 x

  3. 10th August 2015 / 5:06 pm

    I fully relate to this post!! I’m so glad I’m not the only person who feels like this. I graduated two years ago and wanted to go into marketing but despite taking several placements etc I didn’t have “enough experience” so I ended up applying for a role as a manager of a local charity shop (I’d worked part time in retail since I was 16). A year and a half later and I’m still in the job – don’t get me wrong, I love my job but it’s not what I want to be doing forever. However after all the rejections I had, and getting used to being in this working environment, I don’t actually know what I want to do in the future anymore but I think it’s okay to feel like like. At the moment I have little monetary commitments as I still live at home with my mum, so I can enjoy the money that I earn, as well as getting managerial experience on a daily basis. I sometimes feel very insecure about the fact that I’m drifting, I feel as if I should take on that next step but my job keeps me going whilst I work out what I would like to do next. Great blog post!

    • Jessie
      Author
      10th August 2015 / 5:41 pm

      Thanks for your comment 🙂 Ah that’s so frustrating about the ‘lack of experience’ excuse. But as you say, at least you’ve got a job and you’re getting good experience even if it’s not where you really want to be. I think it’s completely normal to be in that position and that’s why I wanted to publish this post – to show everyone that it’s OK to drift and that we’re not alone in doing so! Good luck with the future, I’m sure it’ll work out in the end – these things usually do even if it takes a little time 🙂 x

  4. 11th August 2015 / 10:23 pm

    Amazing post, and I completely feel like that too! I did my first degree in biology and I just knew it wasn’t right, but when I graduated I still did the whole graduate job search. Finally, in March, I decided that I was going to change things up and went to an open day for an MA in Creative writing and five months later, I have got a place on the course, moved to Bath and am working three jobs to pay my way through the course. But I still feel like I am…drifting, somehow. I mean, I know I have got the next year sorted, but after that, I have no clear cut plan and have traded in my sensible career for a poorly paid hobby, yet I couldn’t be happier!! I think loads of people our age feel this way and you are probably completely right, the amount of choice we have now is completely stifling! During my year of trying to find a graduate job, I helped to care for my grandparents, and my grandmother told me that when she was you, she had the choice of being a teacher, a secretary or a nurse, so she chose nursing.
    Seriously, thanks for posting this, it is so nice knowing I am not the only one! But what I want to know is, will we ever stop drifting? Or maybe this is what ‘being adult’ is all about?

  5. 11th August 2015 / 10:24 pm

    Amazing post, and I completely feel like that too! I did my first degree in biology and I just knew it wasn’t right, but when I graduated I still did the whole graduate job search. Finally, in March, I decided that I was going to change things up and went to an open day for an MA in Creative writing and five months later, I have got a place on the course, moved to Bath and am working three jobs to pay my way through the course. But I still feel like I am…drifting, somehow. I mean, I know I have got the next year sorted, but after that, I have no clear cut plan and have traded in my sensible career for a poorly paid hobby, yet I couldn’t be happier!! I think loads of people our age feel this way and you are probably completely right, the amount of choice we have now is completely stifling! During my year of trying to find a graduate job, I helped to care for my grandparents, and my grandmother told me that when she was young, she had the choice of being a teacher, a secretary or a nurse, so she chose nursing.
    Seriously, thanks for posting this, it is so nice knowing I am not the only one! But what I want to know is, will we ever stop drifting? Or maybe this is what ‘being adult’ is all about?

    • Jessie
      Author
      12th August 2015 / 10:37 am

      Thanks for your comment Eleanor – I love hearing other peoples’ thoughts and experiences on the topic! Good on you for pursuing the MA in Creative Writing. Although sometimes it may not seem like the most ‘sensible’ decision, it clearly is if you couldn’t be happier! I’m sure it’ll work out in the end and least you’ve got the next year sorted so just concentrate on enjoying that 🙂 And you know, I reckon we don’t ever stop drifting because there will always be other things we want to explore and try – perhaps you’re right, drifting is what ‘being adult’ is all about! Good luck with everything x

  6. 12th August 2015 / 3:04 pm

    Great post! I feel the exact same way. It’s so good to see that others are going through the same thing! Best of luck to you.

    • Jessie
      Author
      16th August 2015 / 5:01 pm

      Thanks Ariana – best of luck to you too x

  7. 14th August 2015 / 11:22 am

    So glad I randomly stumbled across your post through twitter – I can completely relate to this! Even though I know which sort of sector I’d like to go into, I still feel like I’m drifting through life. Not completely sure where I’m going to end up, and although it’s pretty terrifying it’s nice not to be held down by so much structure at the same time. Though if I think about it for too long it probably would freak me out more! But it’s lovely to know I’m not alone in feeling this way 🙂

    With Love, Fatema | creativeinthearts.blogspot.co.uk

    • Jessie
      Author
      16th August 2015 / 5:02 pm

      Good to hear you relate as well – both exciting and frustrating at the same time! Thanks for your comment Fatema, good luck with everything x

  8. annavintageowl
    17th August 2015 / 11:52 pm

    This post was a true inspiration! When I moved to London to study Psychology I had to get a full-time job to pay my rent, bills, etc. And I had so many moments in my life where I would just feel depressed… I loved my psychology course and I loved the city, but I wasn’t fully happy.
    Then I quit my job to find a better one and that’s when I started to work as a saleswoman in high fashion departments. I then realised that fashion was my true passion and I was so incredibly happy every day to go to work that I realised that Psychology was not the course for me, so I quit my course and now I’m trying to be a full-time fashion blogger.
    For once, I feel that I’m doing what I love the most!

    http://www.avintageowl.blogspot.com

    • Jessie
      Author
      19th August 2015 / 7:02 pm

      Thanks for your comment, I love reading about the experiences of others – all different situations but exactly the same feelings! Glad you’ve found what you love doing now though 🙂 Good luck with it all x

  9. 27th August 2015 / 5:55 pm

    Fantastic post! I’m going into leaving cert and I need to be deciding what Uni/College course I want to do and everytime I tell someone I have no idea what I want to do they look at me with complete shock and horror. All I know is that I want to be happy with my choice and motivated to keep going.

    Just leaving you know that I’m after nominating you for the Liebster Award so make sure to check it out 🙂 https://ciarasramblings.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/liebster-award/

    • Jessie
      Author
      28th August 2015 / 7:41 am

      Thanks Ciara! It’s so normal to have no idea what you want to do – in a way it’s more fun that way as you’re leaving your options open 😉
      Thanks so much for the nomination, really appreciate it 🙂 x

  10. 16th September 2015 / 7:03 pm

    I’m 26 and am still drifting! I fell into a slump after college graduation and even after finding the “job” I wanted at an ad agency, I still don’t feel right about it. I too blog in my free time as something that fills me with much pride and a lot of joy. You don’t ever have to figure it out. Just enjoy your life!

    • Jessie
      Author
      17th September 2015 / 7:54 am

      Thanks so much for your comment Shannon. It’s great that we’ve found blogging as an enjoyable outlet and it’s so nice to connect with other like-minded people. I’d agree with you there – it’s easy to spend your life trying to find something that you love doing for a living but then you risk not really enjoying life to the full! Good luck with everything x

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