I graduated college 8 months ago, and I am more confused than ever. I’ve found myself questioning everything and understanding nothing. I’ve got a cranium full of academic knowledge and 23 years of life experience, so why do I feel so lost? Somewhere between my hours of daydreaming and the time I spend laying awake in bed, I’ve realized that freedom has done this to me. I have been going to school since I was 3 years old; that’s 20 years of scholastic restraint. I’ve been subconsciously following a set routine and being taught what to think. So now that the world is at my fingertips and I can generate thoughts separate from my peers, I feel like I’ve got some serious internal work to do.
In the midst of laying awake in bed a few weeks ago, I started to wrap my mind around the idea that I live a life of contradictions. I have some very strong convictions that I have essentially been pushing aside so that I can fit the mold created by my years of schooling and societal pressures. Over the last 20 years I might have even convinced myself that these are the things that are important to me.
Let me give you some examples:
I don’t want to wear makeup or wear damn skinny jeans. But I find myself giving in because I have been taught to feel better about myself when I am pulled together and fashionable.
I want to travel and take chances while I am young. But I am “suppose” to find a career and start saving money.
I relish in the idea of living a minimalist lifestyle, owning only necessities. But my love for Ikea and cozy sweaters seems to get in the way of this becoming a complete reality.
I want to eat foods that can only be provided by the earth. But organic/naturally grown meat and produce is expensive and I feel irresponsible spending my tight budget on it.
I’d like to complain about money here, but I don’t have any…
I wish it was as easy as saying “well hell to societal norms!”, but in all truth if I want to be an active member of society I need to show some leniency. I don’t live in a tree house and I live in a world where money is a necessary evil. I think the best I can do is stay true to myself and decide on what I’m willing to negotiate and what I want to stand firm on. And just because I feel strongly about something doesn’t mean that I can’t “cheat” every once in awhile. For instance, I typically don’t wear much makeup but sometimes I want to feel like Beyonce… So heck, I whip out some eyeliner and put on my most bootylicious jeans!
Well thanks guys, I think I found the answer I was looking for. Convictions are important, but adaptability has its place too. Freedom comes with its pressures, but also its blessings. This is finally your chance to be completely and utterly YOU. So take those little timid steps towards what you hold true and run with it!