CHOICES. Endless choices.
These are the real challenges for us Gen-Y-ers, us Millennials, us Digital Natives.
I like to believe that I am by now as independent as one can be:
I’ve been raised in a loving family in Central Europe, got myself a great education, I’m smart, I’m driven, passionate, curious, culturally sensitive, well travelled. I learned a good deal about myself along the way and I’m looking back at quite some achievements in the 24 years of my life. Bigger ones, smaller ones, the more and the less obvious. I’ve lived in four countries on three continents, by myself. I don’t have a partner or children yet, by choice. I speak five languages – some better and some worse, but good enough. And I’m soon to be holding a double Master degree in International Politics and Diplomacy, accompanied by my Bachelor degree in Communication Science.
This could be considered the perfect position to go wherever and do whatever with my life. Which is exactly what I was aiming for.
“I live vicariously through you” – I get that one a lot. It’s one of the nicest yet one of the saddest things I’ve been told. So I figured this article would be necessary. There’s three things about this I want you to be aware of:
#1: THANK YOU. I appreciate that you enjoy following my lifestyle and keep in touch. It’s encouraging and gives me a sense of home to stay connected to you, to everyone I’ve meet throughout this great journey. You’re my inspiration and I think of even just little moments we shared more often than you might believe. And I love the support, because we all like to know that other people think what we are doing is not a super stupid idea 😉
#2: DON’T. You do you. Don’t ever live through anyone. Love your life. Or change it. I’m not living this life because it happened to me. I live it because I made some tough choices, took risks, jumped and hoped that my chute would open as planned. Whatever it is you’re dreaming of. Go the hell out and do it. There will be a way. This is not your life rehearsal, you won’t get a second take. Don’t be afraid and settle for good enough. Please, go live your dream.
#3: IT’S NOT THAT EASY. I’m not saying it’s easy. And I’m having doubts just as everyone else. I doubt whether I’m good enough. Whether I can make it. Whether I gave up to much. These are some really tough choices and didn’t always please everyone in my life, believe me. They are different for all of us and the more settled we are in our lifestyle the more difficult it may seem to make changes. If you are truly happy with where you are and where you are going: Congrats, this is rare, appreciate it and hold on to it! But if you are not: what choice would you make if there was guaranteed inevitability of success? If you couldn’t fail? And if you imaging living that life – wouldn’t it be worth to take the risk and focus your attention on that one goal to make it happen?
Right now I’m at a stage in my life where I am – quod erat demonstrandum – pretty much purely independent and free to build the life that I want to. And I am scared. And thrilled. Next summer I will graduate from university after 19 years of education. I came to China with a one way ticket – and I have no clue what’s gonna happen next. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have some things in mind. There are some real person choices to be made. Some grown up lifestyle challenges. I’m trying to allow myself to dream big. You can always go smaller if it doesn’t work out after all.
CHOICES. Endless choices.
This is the beauty of our time – and the reason why we suffer from mental diseases outstandingly more often than in earlier times.
Just because people have choices, it doesn’t mean that they are making them. Or that it is easy making them. It takes courage.
Be aware. Embrace this new reality. And choose wisely. But first and foremost: Dare to choose – and dare to design a happy life for yourself.