Although I enjoyed watching vlogs of people’s lives and how they navigate their daily routine, I did not anticipate what life would be like in my 20s.
I saw people years ahead of me and felt inspired by their accomplishments, independence and confidence. As years went by, the veil fell away. The people around me were just, that. People. Fellow humans trying to get by.
And then my twenties came around. By age 23, I did not feel accomplished or confident. I had my independence but it wasn’t enough.
A few years later, and here I am, writing to all of you.
Since this COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve had this nagging feeling that something needed to change in my life.
I started to feel the monotony of each day, waking up with this beautiful freedom but aimless in my endeavours.
Yes, I am motivated to work and study and build an ideal life, but it felt half-assed.
I needed to straighten out my priorities.
If you’re in the same boat, let’s do this exercise together.
Ask yourself this simple question
After a hot shower and a pampering session, I felt relaxed and in my zone. It was time to address the elephant in the room, despite my hesitation.
“What are my priorities?”
I drew a mind-map in my sketchbook and wrote everything down. I also listed whether these priorities could be actioned daily, weekly, bi-weekly or occasionally.
Here is my list:
- Saving money (1)
- Graduating university (1)
- More active lifestyle (1)
- Growing blog/social media (1,2)
- Eat more balanced diet (2)
- Downsize wardrobe (3)
The numbers beside each one ranked the level of importance to me. These are non-negotiable priorities that require action.
My first feeling was apprehension to look at my list, out of fear I was already failing.
My second feeling was curiousity at how I was doing. And if I was failing, I could begin to make changes.
Seeing it all laid out seemed much less overwhelming than I anticipated.
These are not impossible tasks on their own.
This gave me hope.
Everything is clear now the rain has gone
It became crystal-clear what I want at this point in my life.
It also occurred to me that all of these things on my list are already in progress.
A sense of guilt began to well-up within as I sat there, pondering. Am I doing enough? If I had made different decisions a few years ago, would I be further along?
I reminded myself of this phrase:
Small progress is still progress.
I ask myself these questions frequently: How can I incorporate what I enjoy into my day? How can I make a living from writing? How will this degree enrich my future career?
Since my work contract has ended and all my uni classes are online, my freedom has expanded.
With less structure than I’ve had in my entire life, it has become an exciting time.
Daily Grind to Flexible and Free
What I’ve realised is I’ve become accustomed to the Monday to Friday grind. I find value in work-life balance, so the weekends are a welcoming pleasure.
3 Daily Grind Experiences:
Number #1. Back when I worked in hospitality, I longed to clock-off before midnight. I yearned for freedom to socialise on the weekends when my friends were free.
What I learned? Hard work is still hard work, no matter what you miss out on. All those years built my resilience. Especially when my hours varied from 7:30am starts to 4am finishes.
Number #2. When I changed industries, I was ecstatic to finish work by 9pm. I was able to be creative and expressive with colour and outfits.
Number #3. Then, I had a taste of a 9–5. This is what security and safety felt like. I knew what my role was, I knew what I was getting paid each time, I knew the day ended by 5pm sharp.
By that time, I had started taking my writing seriously. I signed up to a platform called Fiverr hoping to eventually land jobs.
I read countless articles and watched so many videos of people who blogged for a living. Their schedule was flexible. There were peak productivity times of course, but that varied from person to person.
Imagine working towards a goal. Slowly gaining recognition and eventually getting paid for doing what you love.
Receiving orders at 2am is not what I’m used to. But it is a reality that feels like a dream I never want to wake from.
I see and read articles of writers/photographers/creators who do this for a living. It is a worthwhile accomplishment, in my opinion.
Work on your craft
The opportunity to be creative is endless. This is the beauty of social media. People say that social media has changed society.
In the words of Gary V:
“Social media hasn’t changed us, it’s exposed us”.
There are still filmmakers, photographers, writers and artists in the world. What has changed is our access and exposure to them and their work.
I admit, I have the tendency to stay up late and scroll on Instagram or Facebook, watching TikTok challenges or snippets of First Dates. Just because it’s used for leisure and what Twitter-money would call ‘wasting time’, you can make it productive.
Whether it’s videos, entrepreneurship or studying for exams — do your damn thing and dominate!
Priority meets reality
These days, a lot of people would say going to university is a waste of time and money. But for me, it’s an opportunity to learn about the world and human nature.
Although I can see myself in the realm of mental health and wellbeing, I also have a strong feeling this will be incorporated in my writing.
I’ve always been a creative person. My strength is in writing. I may as well combine my passion for words and blogging with my passion for mental health, human nature and emotion.
I’ll continue to strive towards a life where my priority meets my reality.
Now I leave these questions with you.
1. What are your priorities?
2. How can you incorporate what you enjoy into your daily routine?
3. How can you make a living or extra income from what you enjoy?
4. How will a degree or no degree enrich your future career?
If you liked this, you may also like: