Sometimes, I think we have life all wrong. Now, I know that is a pretty profound statement, but let me explain. I am not talking about how one person lives verses another person, I am talking about the order of life itself.
You see, I met this older man in a waiting room and we struck up a conversation. We began to talk about life, stress, working, etc. He said he wanted to give me a piece of advice that I probably wouldn't take, but he was going to tell me anyways.
He told me he could tell how much stress I was under just by talking to me about my job, etc. and he said something huge, "I think we live life backwards. You see, you are young and should be out enjoying life, not stressing or tied down by a job...much less a career already. I am older, I have retired, but I have to stay in one place because of doctors appointments,etc. (you fall apart when your older, he said). I should be the one working. You spend the prime of your life tied down to so many things that you couldn't escape if you wanted to; but when your older, like me, you are free as a bird with nothing to use that freedom on."
I simply smiled and laughed a little at the enormity and simplicity of what he had just said, but it was huge, really. It is something that has stuck with me long after that conversation with him. I think about him and his words often..often in times of stress and think, what if he is right? This is all wrong. I, of course, don't mean my marriage or home, I mean jumping into a career so fast.
We are taught (or I was) to go to college and work yours off to get a job. In my case, the job market I entered was very competitive. I worked 15 hour days as a 'intern', so to speak, to get hired into my field at my dream location. That location turned out to be a complete nightmare. I have since moved locations, but I am still in the same field. I worked my ass off in my early twenties to get hired into a career that pretty much controls my life. Now I am in my mid-twenties and feel almost suffocated by my job sometimes. Hmmm, something seems out of balance here.
I am not saying that we shouldn't have careers, etc. but I do think the pressure to graduate college and immediately go straight into your career field is too much. I wish I had taken a break before getting into my career. Some time to just enjoy life whether that meant working at a job that wasn't necessarily my career, but lent itself to more freedom...to more life.
I am not one to tell anyone how they should live their lives, and that is not at all the purpose of this post, it is just to give you a little something to think about.