You can’t do everything and be everything just because you’re young and society says you should 


Everyone knows the feeling of not having enough hours in the day. Life is busy and it only seems to get busier. If you wrote down everything you did in an average work day, it would be a long list, right? I sometimes lay in bed in the evening feeling mounting guilt at the stuff I haven’t done, like washing or lunch making or even taking off my make up, but I’m too tired for that. 

 Day to day is one thing. Usually time can be found at some point to catch up on all the stuff you tactically ignore. Lately though, I’ve been feeling like there simply aren’t enough hours in life. And I’m not talking about chores or work or housekeeping or plucking your yeti-like eyebrows that have been growing for three months. I mean life as a whole.

When you’re young, you get told you need to do things. You should be reckless! You should travel! Make sure you work hard! Save money when you can, it’s important! Spend all your money, you can’t take it with you! We get told to throw caution to the wind but also that we should be sensible and level headed. We get told to stay out late, enjoy ourselves, to do it while we’re young, but we’ve also get to get up in the morning and kill it at work, so better get that beauty sleep. If I was doing all of the things I feel like I should be doing right now, I’d be booking flights to Bali to island hop, arranging meetings with banks to sort out the best savings accounts, planning a few months to travel a continent I’ve never been to, networking as much as possible to build my career, throwing caution to the wind and blowing all my money on an idea that might or might not work out. I’d be living about four different kinds of life to try and get it all in and get it right. 

We aren’t living in the wizarding world where we can hook ourselves up with a Time Turner to ensure we fit everything in. We just can’t do everything society suggests we should. We can try our best at having the reckless and fun-filled youth, while still setting our lives up nicely and building a solid foundation, but it’s hard to fully believe in both and strike a perfect balance.

It would be really boring to get it right all the time. 

I’ve definitely tried to. I’ve tried to trick my brain into finding the perfect, happy medium, but I haven’t quite got there. I want to do new things, scare myself, go to places and see amazing sites, but I also want a house, kids, money, a good career path to work to and I bully myself into thinking I need to make it all happen.  

I’m very guilty of wanting it all because I’ve lapped up all of lectures and warnings and hindsight we get heaped upon our frazzled brains. 

I want to take some time to cleanse my own frazzled brain of this. I’m not talking yoga in an Indonesian resort or meditation on a Nepalese mountain- I’m talking more getting drunk on g&ts and setting the world to rights. I’m talking giving myself a solid talking to about shutting out all of this scrambled advice and the confusing messages and rewarding myself with a holiday for being an adult about it. I’m talking going on social media and not getting a bit of a sick feeling that everyone is ahead of me and knows the secret to success and has the perfect kitchen. 

I want to be able to do whatever I think is right and not deeply regret it a few weeks later because oh look another person from school is engaged and OH LOOK ANOTHER BABY why isn’t my life working out like a total fairytale and why haven’t I found £100,000 on the floor? 

I don’t want any of that in my head. I want it all gone. I want the chance to not be told what to do and to feel okay about getting it very wrong or very right. I could make some wanky and terrible 2017 resolution out of all of this but I won’t. I will try harder at not falling for the ‘oh you’re young, you should…’ chat anymore. 

7 thoughts on “You can’t do everything and be everything just because you’re young and society says you should 

  1. Oh my god, THIS. I’m so over being told ‘you should travel whilst you’re young’, ‘save whilst you can’, ‘dedicate your life to your career before you have responsibilities’, ‘experience the world and have a career later’. Can’t anyone get their story straight with their expectations of young people?! I think a lot of the older generation forget that when they were 21, a low skilled job could get them a mortgage and jobs were aplenty, whilst they’re telling us how to spend our so-called ‘care free’ years. You do right – spend your time exactly how you want and you’ll never regret it.


    • Same sister, same. I can’t keep up with all the stuff I feel I need to do and all of the things I feel I have to do because people tell me! It’s so tiring. I just want to live for me! x


  2. So so true! I’m so tired of older generations telling me how to live my life and not realising that it simply isn’t possible or even healthy to “do everything”. The “perfect life” doesn’t exist, but “a happy life” does and that’s what we should be told to aim for, a sense of content and peace of mind.


    • You’re absolutely right! I don’t see why we need to try and create a life view where we’re going to feel frustrated and inadequate if we don’t come out on top in absolutely everything. What’s so wrong with living to make yourself happy! x


  3. There are too many assumptions made about millennials and the “you can have everything” bit is probably the hardest. Because while that’s true for a lucky few, the rest of us are just left with an unfulfilled sense of entitlement.


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