Am I Wasting My Life?

Wednesday, 5 October 2016


I'm going to be twenty-three in March. TWO-THREE.

I know in the grand scheme of my existence that isn't a colossal number and I'm certain those senior to me will scoff in my face, as they often do when I let out hopeless sighs, exclaiming: 'I'm getting old!' Which is why I feel inclined to explain that it's not necessarily that I am paranoid about my creeping age, I don't wake up each morning panic-stricken that I may discover a new wrinkle or that it may take me a split second longer to clamber out of bed. Nope, twenty-three isn't old, I do know that. The topic I am delving into is beyond physical deterioration.

The thing is, I have had a recent realisation that I definitely do not have twenty-three years worth of stories to tell. These years have dissipated with the blink of an eye, and now I'm anxiously questioning 'where has the time gone, and what have I even got to show for it?' And that is monumentally more terrifying than any grey hair.

I may sound like I'm being a little over-dramatic, sorry.

It's just, I've spent the last two or three years creating lists of exciting goals to achieve, places to see, experiences to dive head-first into and I'm still no further to completing any of them, instead, each year I'll write off one list, create a new one and tell myself: 'This year is definitely the year' - it never is.

People that know me often make jokes about me 'living under a rock' because I have done so little. I have done nothing that seems to be considered a compulsory young adult activity. I have never been camping, I have never been to a music festival, I have never dabbled in extreme sports, I have never visited another country - I have never even owned a passport.

I spent my teenage years isolating myself. I studied instead of going to parties, I enjoyed my own company instead of that of others, I never had that cheeky cigarette behind the bike sheds, or climbed out from my bedroom window at midnight. I put so much pressure on myself to achieve greatness academically, that I have achieved nothing else.

Surely I'm not the only twenty-two going on twenty-three-year-old panicking that they haven't done enough?

Is it possible that this social media society is pushing us into believing if we aren't off to an exotic country every other weekend, dining in the most luxurious of restaurants, collecting backstage passes and taking selfies on top of mountains, we have failed?

As I said, every year I create myself a list of exciting goals to achieve, and whilst getting my passport finally sorted and working as hard as I can to experience my first adventure will be yet again firmly homed at the top of that list, I think the biggest 'goal' to aim towards will be to stop rushing, to take a step back and count my little accomplishments and stop punishing myself for the things I am yet to do. Sound like a good idea?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below, I would love to hear what people think about this topic and perhaps discover that I am not alone!

Elly xo

11 comments

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  2. Elly, this was such a beautifully written and honest post. ❤ I think this is how a lot of people feel, and I love how it's so relatable -- I've never been camping either, or to a concert, and up until last year, I'd never even owned a passport.

    You're not wasting your life away, you're just young. And I think that's the beauty of life. There's still SO much to do in the future, so much to see -- you just aren't there yet, but one day, you will be. And I think setting yourself goals (like going on holiday) is a brilliant incentive to achieve your dreams. ❤

    pinklemonadeandpaperbacks.blogspot.com

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  3. Love this post! As for setting yourself goals and things to do, my tip would be to have a deadline to have it done by, eg set yourself a deadline to get your first passport & that way it won't make it back again on next year's to do list because it will already be done. And definitely stop punishing yourself. One thing you could do is write a post of things you HAVE done rather than focussing on things you haven't - you never know, you may be surprised!
    Ps - dont listen to people that say you live under a rock, instead of thinking of it in that way, you could just think of getting out of your comfort zone a little bit at a time & doing things you normally wouldn't - you could do a post on your blog & do updates, that could be motivating!
    Great post, thanks for sharing xx

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  4. Wonderful post, Elly! I really enjoyed it seeing as I feel the exact same way! We do need to celebrate the little achieved goals as well as the big ones! I completely agree with Mary's comment ^^^ Couldn't have said it all better myself. Well done on such a great post! xo

    Jay

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  5. I did nothing before I was 23/24. I focused on my studies and then when I had a good job and money I was able to go off and do all these amazing things. You are still young and have plenty of time to travel! Do get the passport this year though so that if something comes up you can say yes straight away!

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  6. I love this post and I'm sure there are quite a lot of us that relate to this. I think it's important to remember that each person is different and that what is one persons goal/dream isn't another. I've never been aborad but honestly I'm the kind of person who is happiest when I'm busy so relaxing by a beach is my idea of hell!
    As long as you are happy and healthy lovely, that's all that matters <3
    http://www.midnightandlace.co.uk/

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  7. I love that you shared this post! I am 25 and I see people around me who have achieved so much and I feel so inadequate. Looking at the little accomplishments is so important! Don't ever think otherwise x

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  8. I think you definitely need to count up your little achievements, I reckon you will find they are not so little at all! It's so important to remember that social media is what people want you to see, I'm 24 and I have no idea what I'm doing with my life - at least you are setting goals and thinking about it, that's an achievement in itself! I think it's the little things that count anyway ;) thank you for a refreshingly honest post.

    Becca | theapresgal.com

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  9. This is a really well written, honest post. I am in agreement with you on so many aspects of this post. Try and note down the little achievements in life and hopefully you can see that they mean alot more than you might think. Just because you haven't jumped out of a plane, or visited a country thousands of miles away, doesn't mean you haven't achieved many great things. :) x
    www.agirlrecommends.com

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  10. This was such a down to earth, honest post! So beautifully written and although I'm only 18, I do completely understand the aspects you are coming from! But you really aren't being dramatic lovely, it's a thought we all go through! Life is in the little things xx

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  11. Elly, you are awesome. Maybe you haven't partied hard or acquired pages and pages of stamps in a passport, but that doesn't define who you are, and how much you have experienced. Most people don't even think about what they're experiencing, they just do things. One day, they look back and realise those weren't the things that had meaning for them. Travel if you want to. Work hard at a career if you want to. Spend lots of time with people if you want to. Do whatever you want, but do it because you want to - because it means something to you! Hopefully then the stories you have to tell will be ones you love telling.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    www.thelifedegree.com

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