After finally quitting my job as a mobile phone salesman I thought that whilst confidently strutting through those fan heated doors, not looking back, my inner monologue would be like William Wallace screaming “FREEDOM!” at the end of Braveheart. Shortly after shouting that famous word, Wallace was greeted by the sweet release of death, knowing that his sacrifices would not be in vein. Whereas what I was greeted with was the harsh reality of life in performing a conscious decision to sacrifice an income for the pursuit of happiness, and the voice in my head actually saying “Steve, you’re a 27 year old man-child and now you have no money, what the f**k are you doing?”
When I left university nearly 3 years ago, with a first-class honours degree, I might add, I thought that the doors to what I wanted from life would just open up and that attaining my first job and a long standing career in the field that I had given 3 years of my life to study would come easy. It didn’t, and what evidently happened was that I moved back home to my parents’ house and I worked more hours in the part-time sales job I’d had for years. It was supposed to be short term, it wasn’t. Now I don’t want to portray a self-deprecating person who has given up, that’s simply not the case, I’ve had a few roles in the industry and some experience since I graduated, I’ve travelled and worked abroad, I’ve had some of the best times of my life. But nothing fell into place the way I thought it would or should have…and that’s ok.
I honestly feel that being in your mid to late 20’s and still not really having a plan for life isn’t a bad thing. So many people relate age to this ticking time bomb, that if you haven’t accomplished a career, marriage, children or financial security by a certain number then you’ve failed. I mean, I’ve got 3 of my friends’ weddings to attend this year, all of whom are the same age as me, I’m not ready for that shit. If my girlfriend asks me what I want for dinner I’m like “woooah, c’mon, we’ve only known each other 5 years, lets slow it down.” Admittedly it does become more difficult to change careers the older you get, but age shouldn’t be seen as a negative, we all live longer now anyway, yeah you might have a few more grey hairs and wrinkles compared to some but what makes someone is their character.
More often than not our lives are measured on financial success and status. I have close friends, that when we go for dinner, the topics revolve around salary, mortgages and what cars they drive. I couldn’t give a f**k, my friends could be billionaires or bin men, it wouldn’t change my view and I still wouldn’t want to talk about that stuff, especially because it makes you feel that there’s a life level you have to be at, and if you’re not at that level, you’re a failure. I’ve had so much rejection that I don’t see failure as a bad thing, failure for me is just another lesson learned and allows you the ability to improve. If you’re always winning, you’re never getting better.
We all have things, skills, hobbies that if we got paid to do we’d be incredibly wealthy, If masturbation was monetised I’d be like f**king Scrooge McDuck, just diving into my pit of cash.
On a serious note, I quit because I don’t feel it’s too late to give up on what I want, staying in something that doesn’t make you happy is pointless, you’re unproductive and miserable, nobody wins. Life is too short to not try to accomplish what you want to, everybody is different so the path others take may not be for you and I don’t feel that should be criticised in either way.
What I’ve decided to do is go back into education, to try something related but new, to build and expand on the skills I already have in the hope that it will eventually get me to where I want to be. Financially it’s a risk, but one I feel is worth taking. For me, life is about exploration, happiness and relationships, and to quote the great Sir Richard Branson “if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get back up and try again.”