My best friend never seems to be in the UK, ever. I never really used to understand why she was always so eager to live somewhere new. Nearly every time I checked in with her, she would be working in another country, different to the last one I knew about.
That makes it sound like we hardly ever talk. But oh no, we talk all the time, she is just that busy I cant keep up with her. I truly admire her free spirited nature.
I always thought I could understand a little more since I moved away for University back in 2014. Wow, as if it was 2014.
But since I’ve lived abroad, I can see why she is always so eager to try somewhere new.
Moving away from my hometown was by far the best thing I had ever done. It had its moments which were hard. But overall, moving out of the city I grew up in was so important. It changes you, and it changes your whole perspective.
Things that used to matter a great deal, suddenly don’t seem to be as important anymore. Travelling, of all its other qualities, provides perspective most of all. You begin to realise that the world is not the town or the people you grew up with. There is so much more out there.
This doesn’t mean you love your friends or family at home any less. My family and friends are the most important thing on this planet.
But there are so many people, living entirely different lives, with completely different views and perspectives. Not to mention all the different languages you come across. This realisation, for me, has been one of the most important to me as an adult. (Not that I want to be one of course). Sometimes, its hard to break the mould, and put yourself out there, surround yourself with strangers, and try to start over. It really is character building, and admittedly scary at times. Once you leave the town you grew up in, thats it, it all changes.
Since I was little, my vague Italian heritage, and wonderful Italian Grandma, amongst family holidays, inspired me to live in Italy. Sometimes its hard to believe I am doing one of the things I have wanted to do since I was a young girl.
Anyone that knows me, knows sometimes my nostalgic tendencies get the better of me, and I have moments where I’m astonished at how much my life has changed in the last four-five years.
It has had its ups, and certainly its downs too. Im not afraid to admit, It hasn’t been easy all the time.
But my time here in Italy has actually allowed me to feel a little more like myself. I know this post is probably starting to sound a bit ‘Gap Yah’ but bear with me.
The problem with your twenties is that you are torn between being selfish and doing everything you want to do. Or being sensible and have everything figured out, your career path, your degree, it even begins to put pressure on your relationships. I mean, what do you do if you finish university and you don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life? Does that make you a failure? The safety net of moving from one educational establishment to the next, totally vanishes.
Realistically, we are only in our early twenties, and despite doubting myself sometimes, there is life after University. Having a group of older cousins has allowed me to realise this. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to get on with the rest of your twenties or even your life. But truth be told, even writing about it has made me feel a little anxious.
But I think its ok to not know, or to not have everything set in stone, and believe me at seventeen I had my whole life mapped out in my head, and I knew exactly what age it would all happen. Looking back I probably resembled Monica from Friends.
But, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing when I first moved to University, so I suppose that should mean its ok to not really know what I will be doing after. I think society and sometimes peer pressure result in that panic of needing to know exactly what you want. Don’t for a second think you need to know. (The laid-back lifestyle and copious amounts of Pizza may or may not have gone to my head).
But my advice, from what I have learnt, is to travel.
It is true traveling, might not be for everyone, so do the thing that scares you most. Take the plunge, and If it doesn’t quite work out how you planned, thats ok. I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason, and everything will always work out for the best.
There are absolutely no guarantees in life, even that career you have lined up. So do the things you have always wanted to do.
If not now, when?
I read this quote back in 2011, after reading The Great Gatsby. Only now, do the things F.Scott was talking about really make any sense.
”For what its worth, it is never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. Theres no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you are not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again” – F.Scott Fitzgerald