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What now?

As per the norm this post has been far too long in the making. As per the norm, the tedious circle of life has kept me occupied, thus making past times such as writing freely and constructively for the benefit of others, somewhat impossible. But here we are, I eventually got round to it. The question is however, what now? Now I come to think of it, that question, although used in reference to what I shall write, actually provides me with an interesting basis in which I should construct this reflective post on.

What now?

This, I know, is a very general question. I could be asking this in reference to anything. The very nature of the question itself seems so general that I personally, as I’m sure many of you will agree, think it’s the kind of question that should remain in most cases, rhetorical; particularly in you don’t fancy yourself, falsely imitating a counselling professional. I am however; bravely going to take a shot at answering this question in reference to my own life and fingers crossed this will help give you an insight into your own.

That’s the plan anyway.

I think most people would mutually agree that this is a hard question to answer; even at the best of times. I think the best way for me to begin tackling the beast is to provide some context. So here we go.

I graduated from UCLAN in 2011, fresh faced and ready to take on the world. And when I say ready to take on the world, what I really mean is, plunged into the deep end without a clue in the world about how I was going to live my life.

I was ready to leave university and I wanted to, but at the same time, I often look back at my time there and it makes me want to go back. Every time I reminisce I get left with an empty feeling as I remind myself that those days of freedom are behind me. I guess I just have to be grateful for having the experience. I’m sure many of you can relate to this feeling.

So I graduated and everything was great. At this point I had a work placement lined up at the local newspaper, which was a nerve racking but exciting and ultimately rewarding experience. Funnily enough I felt ready to finish my time there too, but yet again I look back with a sad fondness.

When my Journalism career came to a relatively short end, I then had to grind out my part time job until I found a graduate position. A decision I might add that was incredibly hard to make. I would have happily written fulltime, but as is life, a full time position wasn’t feasible; and I couldn’t just keep writing for the fun of it.

It took a good few months, but eventually I found something. It wasn’t a job as a reporter, if that’s what you’re thinking; unfortunately not. I guess you could kind of say it was the next best thing… (Well not really), it was a job in publishing. Not exactly my dream job, but one that sounded quite up my street; and the pay was acceptable.

I secured this job in March 2012 and I currently remain there. It has possibly been the quickest year and a bit of my life. The role has been a challenging one. At last however, I kind of feel like I’m finding my feet.

I recently turned 23 and I still cannot come to terms with it. I have to keep reminding myself of my age. I sign of possible premature delirium I know but I genuinely still feel like I should be 19, an age that just seems to feel right for me.

So this is where I stand in grand scheme of career life. It seems as though I have boarded the long, rocky, one track train to retirement, after what seemed like much chasing. The problem with that statement is that it’s highly inaccurate. Over the past couple of months it really has dawned on me that being complacent is going to cause major problems. This stark reality hit me with its full force, very recently. I rather naively figured that as soon as I started working full time, the cash would come flooding in and build me a happy ending. This is not the case! It took me a whole year and a couple of substantial outgoings to realise this. The reality is that I, like many others am just working to survive.

Working to put bread on the table is all well and good. It’s a man’s prerogative some people may very stereotypically say. But then when I apply this to my own life, it turns out that I’m not working to put bread on the table, I’m working to pay bills and board. It was at that moment I realised that I couldn’t just settle as I was and get comfortable, no my quest in life must continue and I need to turn things up a notch.

So this brings me quite nicely to my question, what now? In order to pursue the moral high ground and provide a truly honest reflection, I’m not going to create a glossy fabrication. I think you will agree that gritty realism is more relatable.

I don’t really have anything figured out!

The frustrating thing is that I regular entice myself with fruitful ideas and momentarily trick myself into believing they are going to make me millions. Some of the ideas I think might actually be worth a punt, however there is one problem, me; and to be more precise, my inner fear! The fear of taking a risk and losing everything is a strong one. It could be described as an overwhelming barricade, firmly closing off opportunity with its series of serious what ifs. I truly believe that it is our very thoughts and emotions that limit our potential as human beings.

So after that slightly laborious and self-psychological assessment of the human condition, I can focus on some of the more realistic but challenging ideas I may plan to implement in an attempt to progress in life.

The first thing lined up on my master plan to success, is to achieve either job role progression or find something else. Writing is my passion so if anything of that nature swings in my direction, I will do my best to clutch it. Frustratingly no swinging has been swung my way thus far, and searching could pretty much summarised as a wild goose chase. I think unless you have no life, searching for opportunities is near impossible; it very much needs to be treated as a career in itself.

The second agenda on my mater plan is to become a freelance writer. As soon as the sunny days fade away (as they pretty much are), I plan to invade any and all online portals, where budding and established writers plant there savvy mark by writing about oddities such as the hotspots in Arabia or tips on where to buy the best goat cheese.

Preliminary research suggests that writing about an array of subjects for opportunist employers may be low pay, but I plan to go into this endeavour with a view of building a portfolio and fingers crossed, breaking the seal of opportunity. This could just be a seed to a much larger grain. That’s my logic anyway.

The grand venture that concludes my trio of progression plans is something I am most excited about. In fact it is something that’s already in production. It’s my plan to write a book. Correction, I am writing one and it it’s my plan to get it finished. After a sluggish start I am now ploughing on, full steam ahead with; and it is very much a joyous experience.

I am quite aware that in big wide world of fearsome competition, the likelihood of my literary contents being published for the world to see is considerably slim. I just figured that if I don’t do it I will never know if I’m worthy.

So who knows this may all go t… up! (Can you swear on WordPress, I don’t know.) As far as I’m concerned, I just see it as a step to shake up the stalemate path I’m taking. Only time will tell if I have gained enough speed to clear the wall, who knows I may even crash into it; but like the old saying goes, there’s only one way to find out!

I guess for those of you who do find yourself questioning the future, my view would be, why not shake up the journey a little bit. Try something different. Who knows a small change might make a big difference. Once again I think the old saying; ‘there’s only one way to find out’ is an appropriate phrase to end on.

Good luck, until the next time… whenever that may be.