Tag Archives: future plans

Not Great Expectations

‘I am not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.’ ~ Fritz Perls.

Panicked. Anxious. Questioning what I should doing and where I am now. There was I hoping my twenties would be a carefree existence with the distinct joy of finding myself and my place in the world. The moment the pressure lifts from academics, then the job search/be successful pressure hits full throttle. I feel guilty not knowing what I should do with my life with absolute 100% certainty, I’m chasing ideas and running with them (stong pull:fertility lab). But if something isn’t happening, when do I decide to give up and try another avenue.

The Daily Mail released an article today. It’s crazy how many of us fledgling adults are slumping into a ‘quarter-life crisis’, and sad that the pressure of life are getting to us at a time in our lives when we should be enjoying our newly found freedom and be full of hope for our futures. Instead many of us are directionless and uncertain. I remember a few months after I graduated feeling this way, I read the quarter-life crisis section of the Prospects.ac.uk forum and was shocked at how low some people felt. I remember one girl who had graduated in 2007, had been working temp jobs and just felt like a robot, sick of living with her parents still and wondered how long it would be til something came her way that was even loosely related to her degree. One guy shockingly felt so down that he had contemplated jumping in front of the train as his life felt so static, lacked meaning and had spent so much time unemployed and feeling useless that he thought he would never get employed. My heart broke for these people, would I feel the same if nothing had worked out for me years in the future? A shade of failure and inadequacy.

As the article suggested – take a break from the rat race and do something meaningful to lift your spirits. Which is precisely why I’m in Canada – avoiding stewing in my anxiousness and an unstable economy (plus the small matter of love). I have dipped my toe into the volunteer realm, the thoughts of making a difference at the dog shelter and getting started in a new project freed my mind from the worries of what I should be doing, but happy to do something I wanted to do. If it takes me longer to find my calling (scientific journalism? creative writing?) or be given a chance in the working world (Health Service hire me!) then so be it. It’s hard to say that and I do worry, especially when I see the busy streets and roads at 7am of people making their way to work and thinking ‘Shouldn’t this be me?’. What if my untapped potential fades away? What if no opportunity presents itself even though I keep my ears a-prick? What if I’m out of employment too long, does that make me a loser? Should I go to graduate school?

Something that always hurts when reading these articles is the insensitivity of some of the comments. Claiming Gen Y are a bunch of whiners and feel we are ‘entitled’. I certainly worked hard to get my degree but I never feel like I was owed anything. I think if it was known how many resumes some graduates have sent out to secure a single interview, the number of young people working for free just to get experience for the hope of an entry-level job in the future, the competition, the moments of feeling worthless. The vicious cycle of ‘needing experience, but needing some experience to compete for the experience opportunity’ plus the curse of student loans, maybe they could understand the upset.

The authors touch on pressures from the celebrity lifestyle. This certainly isn’t me, I love a new pair of shoes and something sparkly to add to my accessories carousel  as much as the next girl but if need be I can live minimally and on a budget. I think we’re bombarded with images of what ‘success’ is and by some mystical osmosis we start to absorb these projections. Which is the source of unhappiness. Success is purely subjective, it’s where you want to be. Expecting something unrealistic is only going to lead to heartbreak and stress. I’m still trying to figure out my definition of success (with happiness leading the list) but it certainly won’t be shaped by anything other than my wants and desires.



Filed under Building my CV, Career, Graduate, Life, Life Lessons, Musings and Aphorisms, NABLOPOMO, Personal Development

Wardrobes of Literature

‘Somehow reading a book never feels like sitting still’ ~ Jef Mallett

The libraries at Sheffield University buzzed with activity – students researching for assignments, pulling all-nighters in a desperate bid to meet end of semester deadlines and raiding old journals in the eerie labyrinth-like stacks. I spent most of my final year nerdin’ it up there whilst developing a caffeine addiction. It became a bit of a social hub, even as far as pyjama parties for late night study sessions. The main library in the city centre felt near deserted. A shell with bookshelves and no pulse.

Calgary City Library is very much alive. People absorbed in literature and enjoying the social aspect. In fact I’ve had some interesting passing conversations in the library.

My trip to the library, lets be pensive and call this aisle a 'corridor of knowledge'.

I finally sorted out a library card. With a 99 loan limit, I asked the library assistant where I could park my truck. She laughed, but I wasn’t joking – I love books. I love possessing a bundle of knowledge at my fingertips or having realms of material to flex my imagination with. My ‘books to read in this lifetime’ list is pretty inexhaustible, too many interests and recommendations.  This quote says it well.

‘The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species.  I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries’. ~ Carl Sagan.

Nikki’s reading list

Always with the whipped cream.

I restrained my inner eager beaver and settled on 3 books.

Mastering Norwegian – I’ve been slacking too much on my language learning and I need to stop my brain turning to mush. Any one else get that feeling when they haven’t been stretching their brain? I really feel like my mind is becoming mental sushi. At college I was constantly learning, I don’t miss the pressure or exams, but I miss knowing new stuff. Fellow blogger Sophie will be proud of my choice!

IVF: The A.R.T. to making Babies –  Most of the IVF books I’ve found have been more focused on the patient’s perspective. Empathy is a big part of interacting with patients but this is a more medical focused book. Theory and concepts I will actually use in the real world. Sense a hopefully there too. Oh, and ART = assisted reproductive technologies, doctors attempting nerd funnies there.

The Handy Science Answer Book – Because you can never know enough useless facts and pointless trivia and they make me a lethal weapon in quizzes.

I’m always interested in other people’s reading lists and goals, so if you’re engrossed in a novel or there’s a book that has inspired you or you think I’d enjoy then feel free to contribute ideas for my bookshelves.


Filed under Arts & Culture, Bibliothèque, Calgary, Life