“So what are your plans after college?” A question I literally dread every time I have to answer. While people told stories of their lives of going on vacation, being with their loved ones, reuniting with their friends/family, I felt a sense of emptiness in my chest.
With this question I would answer work, apply for graduate school, read, but never anything that I would consider “exciting” in a sense. I evaluated my life and decided to do what I considered a “mental detoxification.”
1. Not everyone is for you
I typically have a hard time “walking away.” I’m a firm believer in second chances, however I had to evaluate why and who I gave these second chances too. I asked myself “Is he/she worthy of forgiveness,” or “Do I fear being alone?”
Now I cherish greatly and enjoy my own company. The key is to soul search and figure out who you are in order to know what you desire in a person. It doesn’t mean to change a person to fit your beliefs, but be open to meet others with different and common interest in order to grow from one another. Never abandon establishing “me” time as it is a liberating experience in order to discover yourself physically, mentally, and spirituality.
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2. You are more than your career
Finances. One of the many drives of life, especially in your 20’s. In college, like many others I have held a series of “odd” jobs. I’m always hungry for the next big opportunity that could advance my career and my personal development.
However, in the midst of being money hungry, I ultimately pushed every passion I had to the side and even neglected my own health. Of course I continued to work and received exceptional grades in school, but I was miserable as work consumed my entire life.
The key is to obtain balance. In the process of finding yourself, always keep your passions alive. We aren’t robots condemned to society’s standards of working a 9 to 5. If you’re not where you want to be in life stop letting time, age, people, and other excuses define where you want to be. Never feel the need to rush a process as the stages of your life will lead you to unexpected people and places.
3. You’re not “abnormal” if you’re single.
As a college senior it seems like every time I come out the front door, logged on social media, etc. everybody is either in a relationship, married, or started having a family. Considering I haven’t met that special person (or ever been in a relationship) it made me feel “behind.” I always thought “What am I doing wrong to not have that special person in my life?”
I had to stop blaming others, and started to evaluate myself. I am still single but my mindset has changed in terms of my “type” and what I seek in a partner. My viewpoint is this is me. I’m passionate, awkward, introvert, a bookworm, and conscious. Maybe that’s not at the top of a potential partner’s checklist, but hopefully someone will appreciate the qualities I have to offer.
One aspect women need to get rid of is “I’m probably not their type,” or “they’re out of my league.” People definitely appreciate confidence and this statement screams insecurity.
Stop focusing on being someone’s type, and focus on how your unique qualities shape you as a person. Maybe you are or aren’t their type but don’t fear being rejected. Admire yourself for taking a risk and becoming vulnerable to a society that is constantly guarded.
In today’s day and age, we are past the labels of just gay, bisexual, or heterosexual. We now have pansexual, asexual, demisexual, and many other labels for sexuality. In grade school (including one of my own) I remember the constant rumors of people who “dressed,” or “acted” lesbian, gay, etc. without the knowledge of truly knowing a person’s sexual orientation. As humans it’s natural to explore different aspects of yourself in order to discover what you enjoy, your passions, and who you want as a partner.
It’s important for you to respect and accept your own self-identification, as well surrounding yourself with people who see you in your own perspective. If you’re are a friend of a person who is seeking or evaluating their sexual orientation, it’s never considerate to make assumptions based on a person’s looks, the way they dress, etc. Always respect their wishes and understand their sexuality instead of basing assumptions on what you see or heard about them or even the portrayal in the media.
At the age of 21 I’m still evolving. As women I believe we feed off of this “checklist” of what is considered happiness and being successful. It’s beautiful to want a relationship, have a nice car, and a mansion. In the process what are your real passions?
What are your life goals? What does your heart truly desire? And most importantly how are YOU defining self-actualization? It can be daunting to change, move, and get outside comfort zones but keep in mind storms make trees take deeper roots. Your struggles today can help you grow into the woman you see in the future.