Today was not a regular day.
I woke up this morning just like any other work day. I got up, showered, skipped breakfast (who has time?), and drove to work. I got to work and powered up my laptop, contemplating the day ahead.
And I started crying.
Now, I don’t inherently dislike my job. It pays well, I get along with my colleagues, and I do generally enjoy what I do. Like most people, I have days where I love going to work. I also have days where it is the last place on Earth that I want to be. There was nothing unusual about this morning to indicate today would be the day I had an emotional outburst, that would make me question almost every major decision I’ve made in my life up until this point.
Have no fear, this isn’t going to turn into a story about how awful my life is. I have it pretty good. I’m 25, married with two kids, I have a Bachelor’s Degree, and am currently in a well-paid retail management position.
But I now realise that I was crying because I have no idea what I want to do with my life.
My wife sometimes calls me a worrier. I worry about money, that we’ll never get a mortgage, that our pension pot won’t be enough to retire on in 45 years time.
Well today, my worry was that while all my friends I went to university with are off pursuing meaningful careers in their respective fields, I’m stuck in retail management with no true passion and no clue what my future holds.
I constantly evaluate the choices I’ve made in life. I found myself doing this today, and in doing so I realised something important.
No matter where you are in your life, no matter how many times you find yourself questioning the choices you have made, you can always find something that has made those choices worthwhile.
I often ask myself why I didn’t choose a more useful degree, at perhaps a better university. Sure, the job prospects would certainly be greater with a degree in Law, or Business, but had I studied a different course I probably would never have met my wife. I wouldn’t have my two children, who are the without a doubt the best thing to ever happen to me.
We are all the sum of the choices that we have made. Now I realise that you have the choice, to either make the best of the live you have, or waste it wishing for a life you don’t.
So next time I look back and think 'I wish that I’d…’, I’m going to try and turn it into a 'I’m going to..’. I’ve realised that it’s OK if you don’t have life figured out.
Charles Darwin didn’t write On The Origin of Species until he turned 50.
I’d say there’s hope for me yet.