The lessons of an (almost) 30 year old
So this would have to be one of the most personal posts I've written, but seeing as i'm fast approaching the big 3-0 next month, I thought what better then to look back and see what (if anything) I've learnt over the years.
I mean, I hope I would have learnt something, but hey that remains to be seen . . .
1. You don't need to have everything perfectly figured out
I clearly remember back to when I was in High School approaching the end of year 12 and everyone was trying to tell us that we needed to figure out what we were going to do with our lives. Which looking back now is a pretty big thing to be told/ asked to do at 18. I mean, even now at 30 (yes i'm not 30 till next month but i'm calling it, I now tell people i'm 30) sometimes I feel like I don't have everything perfectly figured out (realistically who does!?). And I feel like that's O.K. Life has ups and down and it's much better to go with the flow and figure it out as you go along.
2. You don't need to just have 1 career path
Who is to say that you can only do one "thing" with your life. I feel like gone are the days when people had 1 career path for 40 years and stayed at the same company/ job the whole time.
I'm on my third career change all of which required extra study (one a whole other bachelor degree) so I definitely don't fit that mould.
3. No one has the right to tell you what you can and can't achieve in life
if someone tells me I can't do something that is my BIGGEST motivation to do it to prove them wrong. And it's definitely not to be mean and stick it to people or not even a rebellious thing (I was literally the opposite of a rebel as a child), I just hate people telling me what to do. I mean, I would never go back to anyone and say sucked in look I did what you said I couldn't (well not to their face anyway, in my mind I always do haha). But my logic is, who thinks they have the right to tell me what I can and can't achieve/ do with my life. Literally no one. That is only for me to place those sorts of limitations on myself, not anyone else. And limitations are exactly it. If you put your mind to something and are prepared to do the hard yards (which hard yards for most things it is - nothing worth having in life comes easy and so it shouldn't, that would just be boring), the sky is the limit so don't limit your potential.
4. THINGS RARELY GO ACCORDING TO PLAN!!!!!
Yes, I feel like that needed to be in capitals. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but things rarely go to plan - what's that saying, the best laid plans often fail. And quite often it is the plans that don't work out that become the best, most amazing things that happen in your life. So going back to deciding what we wanted to do when we were in High school. I vividly remember 18 year old Victoria thinking, perfect, I'm going to study Business and International Studies at UTS, study Italian and move to Italy for an exchange year. In that year I would find an Italian boyfriend. I would then move back to Italy when I finished my degree (at the ripe old age of 20), we'd get married at 23, then have kids at 25, 27 and 29 and live in the Italian countryside - yeah sweet, I had my life plan sorted. What fantasy world was I living in!? At 20 you think you're sooooooo old and mature because you're not in your teens anymore, but let's be honest, you're basically still a baby. You're still young and have a hell of a lot to learn about the real world and life - and yep in 10 years time i'll be saying that about 30 i'm sure, so everything is relative I get that. But anyway, back to the story - I only just missed out on getting into that degree. To an 18 year old that is utterly devastating. As far as I could see my life (and career because omg what was I going to do now?!) was over! (queue the harps playing and sad music) HA, FAR FROM IT!!!
Instead, I ended up moving to Canberra for 3 years to do a Commerce degree, where I made some of my best friends and lived in Canada for 9 months which made me mature and grow up pretty quick smart so was literally the best experience of my life. I then got an amazing job working in printing/ publishing that I know I wouldn't have if I had have done the other degree as I would have still been studying. That then led me to gaining an enormous amount of weight (note to self - this is what happens when you consume caramel milkshakes every afternoon haha - I'm literally not joking, my boss and I had one EVERY single afternoon for a good 9 months without fail (her pregnancy craving so i'm not sure what my excuse was) - on that note I haven't had one in 7 years and never will again - I find them absolutely disgusting now). I then got a Personal Trainer and lost said weight, which then led me to becoming a Personal Trainer myself and then studying Nutrition, leading me to where I am now.
So basically, that one little thing of me not getting into the degree that I thought I wanted has changed the entire course of my adult life, but for the better!
That's one thing I wish i could tell my 18 year old self who was crying when she didn't get into that degree - the world has bigger and better things for you sunshine, you just wait and see.
Yeah it took 12 years to figure it out but you know . . .
5. The best things in life happen when you least expect them.
And this goes for every aspect of your life not just your career - when you're not looking for something it has the habit of finding you - you never know when something or someone is going to come along and change your life. Yes, if you want something in life you need to work towards it and not just sit back and rest on your laurels and expect it to be delivered to you on a silver platter. BUT at the same time I definitely believe in fate and that the universe has a funny way of presenting you with what you need in your life at that point in time and subtly directing you towards the path you should take. Case in point above about my not getting into that degree. If I did, who knows what I'd be doing now. Maybe I'd be happy, maybe I wouldn't and maybe I'd be knee deep in Italian Pasta (obviously weighing about 100kg more so in need of nutrition services instead of providing them). But chances are I probably wouldn't be a Nutritionist and I can't imagine doing anything else with my life, so to me that life would feel foreign (pun intended).
Another story about how one decision could have affected my life. When I was going for the interview for the job I ended up getting, I almost didn't go. I was like ohhh it's down in Kingsgrove (a 45 minute drive), It's too far away, I don't think I'll go and was so so close to calling her and cancelling the interview pretending I had got offered another job. That has always stuck in my mind that I felt like cancelling and I now think thank god I didn't. I feel like fate had a way of making sure I went.
6. Never look back and think "what if"
Yes something maybe unknown, something may be scary, you may not have everything figured out, but that is the beauty of the unknown. I'd rather be saying to myself "woops" than "what if".
Because "What if" is looking back and regretting you didn't do something and wondering what could have been. "Whoops" is you did something, may not have turned out how you wanted, but oh well you learnt something and hopefully had fun along the way and really what more can you want and ask for in life.