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For the Undecided

It never ends. This confusing, never ending labyrinth of questions regarding the future. I’m not even entirely sure why it irritates me so much, but most of the time when people ask me about my future, informing them that I’m not a Time Lord and, therefore, cannot travel to the future to find out is preferable to having an actual conversation on the topic. Diversion tactic 101.

The problem lies in society, really—not the people who are simply curious about my next adventures. A standard ‘life-plan’ is as follows:

– Go to school

– Get a job

– Get married

– Make babies

Nowadays, there is a multitude of problems with that plan. There are obvious issues—not everyone wants to go to postsecondary school, not everyone wants to get married and not everyone wants to have children. But everyone has to have a job, right? Their career—the be-all-end-all of their financial existence and the primary step into actual adulthood.

The thing is…it’s all a lie. We grow up to believe that there is one career or job for everyone. We’re told from a young age that we will have one passion, and from that passion will stem a career—our future. As children, we are taught that we can do or be anything we want, but only if it includes a decent wage, benefits, and security. It’s all rather confusing, not to mention contradictory.

My point is this: we are not required to do only one thing with our lives. Some people make career changes in the middle of their lives, or sometimes one career choice naturally leads to a different one. Many people have more than one passion, so doesn’t it make sense to utilize as many of them as possible? There is no sense in limiting ourselves simply because society dictates that having multiple careers (also known as a ‘slash’ career) is inefficient or wrong in some way. That way of thinking is damaging to the entrepreneurial efforts of new innovators and creative thinkers.

Of course, there are many people who do feel as though they have a specific calling, and that is wonderful. I envy those people in a way because there are those of us who will never be happy unless our careers fall completely in line with our passions and our values, and sometimes those things are innumerable.

I took a very specifically focused college program which in most ways I don’t regret, but in some ways I do. The art of makeup is not my only passion, and certainly not the largest of them, so what was the point? This was the point: Pressure. It’s considered lazy by many to go any number of years out of high school without continuing your education and choosing a career. Luckily, although makeup artistry will definitely never be my one and only career, I am discovering new ways to incorporate the skills and knowledge that I learned in college into my other interests in values.

Don’t be afraid to tell someone that you don’t have your entire life planned out if it isn’t the case. Being a young adult comes with a lot of stresses, the last thing you need is to be worried about what other people think of your choices. If you want to have one specific career—that’s amazing, go for it! If you are on a path to a certain career or are already involved in one but figured out that it isn’t for you—do something different! If you have multiple ideas and don’t know what to do with them yet—take a breath and give yourself time to figure it out.

In case you haven’t noticed, young people are beginning to change the rules. We don’t have to follow the traditions of our parents, grandparents, etc. in any facet of our lives, much less our careers. Make your own choices and don’t let anyone try to tell you what’s best for you—it simply isn’t their decision.

I’ll be continuing my journey into the unknown realm of tomorrow, and I will try to do it without fear. I truly hope you’ll do the same.


Words by Jaime Grover // Photography by Gina J Lee.

© 2015 Reef Magazine

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