Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Beast Called 'Real Life'

When I sixteen, my best friend and I had a dream, we detested the school we went to and wanted to leave it as soon as our last year of school came to a close. This plan consisted of us being wealthy in a matter of months of leaving our home town: she’ll be the first person who made millions selling worry dolls and I’d be in New York as a fashion stylist to Anna Wintour.

With the money we had from our fabulous jobs, we would buy every apartment across the globe – whatever we fancied, we could get it.

Even though our lives didn’t pan out the way we imagined, we’re still young. I feel my school girl frivolity is still alive – moving overseas may take a while, but it’s still simmering. There were other things I didn’t expect when I graduated all those years ago, to still be studying at a ripe old age of twenty three.

But what society thinks there should be a certain way to live life? To have a cool job, getting married and own a house by the time we’re twenty five? Are we setting ourselves a deadline that’s impossible to reach? Or are we trying to rush through things because we want to achieve everything now?

Recently, I had dinner with a few friends and all of them were talking about the dilemmas of life. One of them was particularly exhausted after she finished her rant.
“We worked hard at school to go to uni and study the degree we wanted. When we got to uni, we had to study hard to get the jobs we wanted. Then after that, we go back to uni to boost our qualifications. Not only that, but we need to get married. Then once we have kids, the cycle starts all over again”.

Few of the people at the table nodded. On the other hand, I didn’t agree.
“There are other ways to live life. That’s just one life, but you don’t have to live with it”.

“You’re still at uni. Uni life isn’t going to stay forever Tina. Real life has to begin sometime and this is it.”

I think to myself, I’m not going to be a university student forever – but if this is what real life is, it sounds tedious to me. Who says ‘real life’ is all about university degrees, marriage and wearing dull clothes?

Why do we feel the need to rush through our career, marriage and life in general? Do we always need to outdo our peers or is it something more than that?

I don’t hold the answers either –but I’ve observed that people finally reach ‘society’s expected goals’ such as graduating from university or being accepted into a corporate firm – it wasn’t as exciting as they first imagined. To compensate their disappointment, they try another goal such as getting married by a certain age, or some other goal. And again, to realise once they’ve attained it, it wasn’t as exciting as they thought it was.

What do you think?

Happy reading!


Martin Hartley said...

I think a whole problem with society today is that we don't want to seek out our own paths. We are only too happy to accept a pro-former or framework to indicated what should be a successful life.

How does you measure success? By whose yard-stick do we measure success? Is it a university degree? Is it a well-paid job? Is it a paid-off mortgage?

How much of the world do you really get to see when you go straight from school to university to work? What experiences do you get when you go from the class-room to the lecture-room to the office?

Life is a journey, not a destination. Happiness is to be found in the present moment, and no in some far-away place. Of course, how one finds it is a whole other matter.

Siobhan Hanlin said...

I agree totally with your article Tina, I fell into that trap myself and it took redundancy and six month of unemplyment for me to 'wake up' as it were and figure out what I wanted, not what I thought I 'should' have. I think a great deal of this problem starts at school, when you are pressured at 16 to make a career decision, to pursue goals relentlessly/mindlessly. It sets an unhappy cycle of events more often than not, and I have sneaking feeling that it is the cause of many a mid life crisis.

Anonymous said...

Zomg Tina first time Ive come across your blog!

hey glad to see you are proud of your height XD!!!

- Julie T

Miami Ticket Attorney said...

This is definitely a topic thats close to me so Im happy that you wrote about it. Im also happy that you did the subject some justice.

Miami Ticket Attorney said...

Not only do you know a great deal about it, you know how to present in a way that people will want to read more. Im so happy to know someone like you exists on the web.

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