Does anyone else get asked this a lot? I know Bailey and I certainly do and it often seems that most of our generation are in a similar situation. I have put it down to two things – either I attract people with similar aspirations to me, or we are Gen Y’s who are on a totally different wavelength to our predecessors…
It’s probably more likely a bit of both seeing as I know non-traditional careerists who are from other generations (including my dad) however; I am taking some poetic license for the sake of the title.
Everyone has a different story, a different reason, a different set of circumstances. I have friends in their mid to late twenties who are only now discovering what they want to do and going back to school, and others who still haven’t decided. I know people, including my sister, who work random jobs to fund their real passion for art, writing, performing, and filmmaking, who are just doing what they have to, to get by. There are others on my friends list who have moved overseas in pursuit of international happiness, and then there is Bailey – my closest and most poignant example – who has wanted to be an entrepreneur his whole life and is well on his way.
For me, I have wanted to work in film and television since forever. The past three or four years of my adult life (ie, after leaving uni and wasting a lot of time drinking too much) have been consumed with clawing for work in the industry in Brisbane, working dodgy in between jobs, and just plain being unemployed quite a lot. I could not even count or recall to you the number of times people have looked at me with bewildered expressions and asked how I can manage to live like that. But, just quietly, I LOVE IT!
Obviously being poor is not on my list of things to do. I like the idea of having a roof over my head and money to buy pretty things (and my recent move to Sydney will hopefully keep this a reality). But, that being said, I thrive on the idea of a constantly changing work environment with new challenges, different expectations, and (most importantly) an end date so that I can bypass the monotony of life and get through each day knowing that there is no way I will be stuck doing what I’m doing for the next 20+ years!
Call me crazy or disagree with my entirely, that is your prerogative (and I will not judge you for doing so) but that is how I like to live my life in a somewhat uncertain, but always interesting way.
These career and life aspirations could have a number of causes. Growing up with the Internet, substantial recent technological and social media advancements, and uncertain, ever-changing job markets are certainly some factors, but potentially more significant are the ambassadors for our generation who have become so by turning small ideas into overnight success stories (anyone heard of Facebook, YouTube, Google?). We could follow in the footsteps of previous generations and live to work, or create a whole new path and follow people who have show us that we can do anything we want – the world awaits us with infinite opportunities.
Apparently, Gen Y’s will have significantly more careers and change jobs more in their lifetime than any previous generation. This is a bad thing, why? Is there really anything wrong with trying until you find what you’re looking for? Striving for something better? Or holding your life to a higher standard so that you can look back when you are old and say you took every shot at having the best life you could? I don’t think so.
I don’t even think money is the primary motivator – although there is some attraction to the thought that ‘a million dollars isn’t cool, you know what is? A billion dollars’ – I think we are attracted to the idea that we can do whatever we want and create the best life for ourselves. My dream job involves all my favourite people getting to work together, preferably being creative while making money, and eating lots of cake. I’d really love to see judgey, other-generational, or just more mainstream people try and wrap their heads around that concept next time they ask me or any of my friends about our non-existent, not yet formed, or totally out-of-this-world careers…
P.S I have to thank my family for being super supportive about my life choices and putting up with me when it’s been tough!
Yesterday, whilst searching my iPhoto library for my best cake photos, I found myself reminiscing over years gone by and good times once had and I realised three things:-
1) I don’t take enough photos of my life and the people in it as I used to or want to.
2) Thanks to the phenomenon that is social networking, you can still connect with the people you have known in your life without actually having to commit to seeing them regularly (both a good thing, if you don’t live close by or your lives have gone in different directions and a bad thing because you no longer have to make too much effort), and
3) I am too young to be using phrases such as, ‘over years gone by’.
Upon discovering some fairly classic moments and photos in my library, I decided to conduct a little experiment; posting some of my favourite images of good friends that I have maybe lost touch with a little – or who now all live in a different state to me and I miss daily!
The result: collective replies from these people commenting on the photos with the same fondness that I had felt just moments before – and I only picked about 12 photos out of a library of thousands! I then had to pause at the thought of all the people who have passed through my life and who haven’t made it into my digital archives for some reason or another…
How often do you find yourself wondering about people who used to be in your life (and life, being the way it is) are no longer? How often do you compromise on real friendship by simply hitting the ‘like’ button on an old friend’s Facebook status update instead of sending them a message so they know you’re still around?
Stuff happens, friendships fall apart, life moves on, and we really all just carry on in our little worlds doing our thing. You can spend your whole life working and whinging about bills and money and bad drivers and the weather, but at the end of the day, all that really matters is what kind of person you are in your life and the people you spend it with. So this blog – and my latest Facebook photo album – is a shout out to all the friends (new, old, existing, no longer, and life long) I have had and, even though years have passed and photos or distant memories may be all that remain, I hope that we can still think back every once in a while and remember each other fondly.
I have always loved the idea of Alice in Wonderland so it seemed a good place to start – everything from tiny bottles saying ‘drink me’, tea parties with mismatched décor, characters inspired by playing cards and chess pieces, Mary Janes, and the idea of a place that no one else knows about but you.
Ultimately, we all live in a world that only we know. Nobody is with us 24/7, seeing life as we see it, with our thoughts and feelings. Mine is a world that I can only reflect through a mash of words and my own looking glass – my camera – and maybe you will see what I see, or maybe you will see something I never did.
My wonderland is full of inspiration, admiration, and incredulation for the people in my life, the kindness of strangers, and the capabilities of humans. I want to reflect that through sharing the things that inspire me, that I admire, and that leave me constantly incredulous at our own abilities – be that through movies, books, photographs, style and fashion, stories, or things I come across in my every day life. So down the rabbit hole I go…
P.S The film was disappointing, but the costumes and artwork (as seen below) were amazing, there’s no denying it. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland – image from Beyond Hollywood