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On trying to work out our path and keeping up with ambition. By Michelle Chai.

Bloggers; we're an ambitious bunch, it has to be said.

With social media platforms being an other-wordly treasure trove to share achievements, milestones and more, it's easy to feel lost and to feel like you're losing traction. This year - this week in fact - marks 2 years since I moved home. For reference and visibility, I'm 23 and living in my parents'/the family home. And I love it.

I couldn't count on two hands the amount of times I've divulged this information with someone and been met with 'What?! Aren't you a bit old for that?'. Well, no, I'm not. The taboo that exists around this is pretty mystifying yet not at all. While I'm lucky enough that my parents don't charge me rent, I clean, cook, pay bills and food shop at home. I don't wait for my parents to come home and make my dinner. (In fact, they work from 10am-1am, 7 days a week, so now try and tell me I'm incapable of living on my own.) Yet when I'm questioned for my livin' situ, the question what am I doing? crosses my mind again. Well, I'm saving to independently buy my own house, run my own business and to be able to freely travel. All dem ambitions.

The same question derives from ye olde career chat. I hate this part. I often have this internal struggle -- so I have a degree. It means next to nothing when realms of experience and talent are involved, and even more so pure ambition. The last couple of weeks have been scattered with coffee, dinners and catch-ups with new and old friends, each of them in varying states of happiness towards their jobs. And somehow whenever it gets to 'my turn' and I'm all, "I probably not going to do this forever," they question why I'm questioning myself. So, what am I doing? I don't know, but who does? Working it out (ironically, ha) is part of the fun.

Finally, with the blogosphere catapulting into levels and places we never imagined - have you spotted Jim Chapman on ITV2 yet?! I'm a proud fangirl - it's all too easy to second-guess ourselves. No matter how many blogs are begun or might sadly stop it's kind to remember that we're all here because, at heart, blogging combines words, our favourite clothes/products/food/lifestyle enhancements and it means we all get to have a chinwag, non? So, what am I doing? Well... I'm sitting at my MacBook for nigh on 4 hours an evening, dedicating plenty of time to my favourite hobby. I'm learning tips from Lyzi on how to enjoy the little things, wishing myself a better photographer and more honest person from Gem, coveting Anna's beauty wit, being in wonderment at Erin's savvy DIY skillz and getting ready to somehow steal Rumi's wardrobe.

What am I doing? It doesn't matter. It's all about the little things -- it'll work out in the end. Just you wait.

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Do you often worry about The Future and what your long term plans are? Share them in the comments for a future article! Or better yet, shoot me an email and we can chat (:

45 comments

  1. This is one of my constant worries. I worry that I don't have a plan, that I'm still not sure what I want to do. Comparing my achievements to others' makes it worse, especially when they are younger than me; I often have to remind myself that everyone's path in life is different.

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    1. I think that rings true for a lot of people actually! I just thought I'd voice my own thoughts because I felt that a lot of people had begun to really look up to my position and almost put me on a pedestal when in reality, I still feel that I'm not *that* well achieved and everyone's path is super different!

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  2. I really enjoyed reading this. As a 21 year old that lives at home I also get some surprised looks. Even more so when they discover that in September I'm going to University and (my birthday is June) I won't graduate until I'm basically 25. That means until I'm 25 the chances are that for financial reasons, I'm not going anywhere.

    Having said that I don't really mind the comments about my career, what REALLY gets my goat is when people are like "oh you haven't experienced the REAL world" and other patronising bull like that. I have lived alone. At 18 I moved across the country, away from all my friends and family, and in with my partner who was still at school. I worked, paid bills, and did all those things that grown ups do. Cooked for both of us, cleaned... I could go on. Yet because I live at home AT THE MOMENT I get treated like a child by some people.

    Sorry rant over. But yes I completely understand your post and it was beautifully written!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Chelsey!

      I don't think there's anything odd in that, there's a different path for everybody and these paths and our own choices help to shape our lives. I think it's possibly even better that you've taken the time to consider your choices thus far. That's one of my biggest pet peeves as well, being made to feel inferior for not having my own place, when actually, I have lived on my own and am now completely self sufficient, only now I contribute to the family house too. Ah life! ;)

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  3. Argh I think we need a real-life catch up, could waffle on for days!

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  4. Michelle this is a great post and exactly what I needed to read right now. I am 23 and also living at home. I dread the ''what are you doing with your life'' conversations as my answer has usually become 'I'm not too sure'. Thank you for reminding me that its all about the little things and not to worry about the future so much. I'm a big worrier. I second guess myself so much and its probably the reason why it took me so long to start a blog. A beautifully written post which I loved reading.

    Sammi
    xx

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    1. Thank you Sam!

      Mm I feel much the same. There's so much more to life than knowing exactly where and what you want to be. The little things day to day add up to so much more in the long run. I'll certainly remember that awesome cup of tea I shared with my best friend laughing about memories past over fretting about these boring matters ;) x

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  5. I am in the exact same situation. I live at home and my parents are always out working the same hours as yours! So I pretty much live at home on my own with my sisters as my housemates. I don't mind at all though and I like that I am quite independent - but I would love all the above to, to have my own place, to be my own boss and to travel the world. I don't know what I am doing right now either though but like you say, it's ok not to know!

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    1. Aaaw yeah - high five Winnie! I half quite want my own place but the more I think about it, the more I realise I'm quite content as I am now. I'd love to be running my own business (plans semi in the works now) and have the chance to travel the world, but right now, I'm just soaking up the simple little things!

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  6. Ah I can relate to the "what am I doing" question :( for me it's less looking into the future and more looking back at what I've done and feeling inadequate!

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    1. Ah "never look back" and all that Jane! ;) There's so much to look forward to, we just don't know what!

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  7. Thank you for this post love! I'm in the same situation and it is quite difficult! I'm glad that you're finding the positivity through it :)
    xx

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    1. You're more than welcome Rachel - thank YOU for the lovely comment. It's quite nice to not know sometimes, curiosity of the unknown and all that!

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  8. Ahh I'm so glad you posted this! Although you seem in a much better position than me, it still is great to read your thoughts surrounding these things. Ah life x

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    1. Aw what a lovely comment Sandra! I don't think my position is better than anyone's (: We're all equal in this strange little world!

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  9. "The future" is one of those things that you just have to take one day at a time.

    Also, I love my parents! If I could live at home, I absolutely would!

    Melissa | M is for Melissa

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    1. Definitely! Now that I've had some time to think it through, it's even better not to know sometimes. Curiosity and anticipation for the unknown certainly keeps us going.

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  10. I love this - I think that the stigma around living with your parents post-graduation really needs to be kicked to the kerb. Now if you're 30 and living in the family home I think you've got to question what's going on in your life (and maybe there's a very good reason for having to live with your parents!) but at the age of 22 or 23 it's convenient, and makes all the difference money-wise, especially as it's so difficult for us UK graduates to find an affordable place to live nowadays! Thank you for sticking up for young people who are lucky and sensible enough to live with their parents until they are fiscally independent.

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

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    1. Absolutely. I think there's such a crazy rush to grow up "before our time" at the moment. At times I feel like I'm being left behind whilst my friends all move out and struggle with their income and lifestyle, and I'm at home blandly saving towards God knows what. I know I'm very very lucky that I can stay at home but also that I'm not doing the wrong thing by any means, there are just different paths for different people. (:

      Thank you for such a kind comment!

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  11. Your post is exactly what I needed to read today! After dropping my teacher training course, I've been left with a degree in teaching and no real idea of what to do with it. I found out yesterday that the route that I had initially planned to go down isn't really an option for me, so I've been feeling a little down in the dumps about the future. Thank you for reminding me that I don't have to have my future planned out Right This Second!
    Oh, and I'm 21, and have moved out from my mum's house... into my Boyfriend's parent's house. That generally gets me even stranger looks than if I just say I live at home!
    Beth
    swallowsandskylines.blogspot.com

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    1. You're more than welcome Beth! There are so many different things available to us all, sometimes it's just that a little more time is needed to work it out. You have the whole world ahead of you at 21 sweet!

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  12. This is a really beautiful post thank you. I often feel that my blogging gets too quickly sidelined when I have A levels to revise for and yes my education comes first but I think I need to remember to relax sometimes and just spill my thoughts into a blogpost. It's like therapy that everyone can enjoy. What is the point of life if you only work and never spend time doing things you love outside of work/study (you should also love your work). This is why every time I have a spare moment I have been trying to remind myself to just sit down with a cup of green tea and get writing.

    fashionablyuknown.com

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    1. Ah thank you Katy!!

      I completely agree - it's all about the balance. There's such a focus on work and careers that I know I've been guilty of falling into, but there's also plenty of room, space and consideration for people who aren't so career focused. I think my ideals and values have shifted somewhat since leaving Uni and having to really grow up. My happy place is when I'm relaxed at home or in a chilled environment, tapping away at my MacBook and putting ideas to action!

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  13. It really is all about the little things. I'm a firm believer that what is meant to be, will be!

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

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    1. Certainly! That's such a lovely sentiment Jennie!

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  14. I think for someone my age, I have sooo many ideas and plans for the future and rather than being more prepared than if I didn't have these plans, I sometimes feel as if I'm setting myself up for failure because there's no way that I can do every little detail that I have planned! But I've realised that *everything* in the future is subject to change completely, by the time I get into the proper working world there will probably be so many more opportunities than I can't prepare myself for now. So the only thing I can really do is look around my present and do my absolute best, I can't secure the future without getting to it first! I love your thought provoking posts they get my extensive comment game on haha!

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    1. Aw don't be silly Deenie! You will definitely achieve all that you want and more! I feel that I've accomplished most of what was on my list, and I'm not sure where I want to grow, go and be from here. Currently I'm happy just enjoying the little things from day to day and slowly finding my feet again!

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  15. I love the quote by Lao Tzu “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” I try so hard to live in the future and stay positive but I have no idea what i'm doing or where i'm going! I have no idea what the future holds but hopefully it'll work out in the end :) x

    SophiesMakeupBlog

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    1. Ah that's a lovely quote! I try my best to just not live in the past - frankly the future terrifies me so I'm just appreciating the smaller things every day until I find my feet again and work out what I'm attempting to be! (:

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  16. I really enjoyed this post and could relate to a lot of what you said. It's such a crazy time of life but it seems like you have your head screwed and are doing really well, always remember to be proud of your achievements :)

    Love Holly x

    www.pamperpreenperfect.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. oops I meant head screwed on ;)

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    2. Thank you so much Holly - you really do leave the nicest comments!

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  17. Amazing post, I'm new to your blog, and really love it! As I always say to people, 'Don't live for the future, live for now' - it sounds really cheesy, but if your main worry is not being at your end game yet, you'll miss out on so many things! I don't own a house, but I'm about to move 10K miles across the world, because I can. :) ~ Claire

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    1. That's such a sweet comment Claire, welcome to DB! And what a great quote too, I'm super guilty of forgetting to live for now. But I really should appreciate the current moment a little more. Moving 10k miles?! Incredible - I can't wait to hear more (:

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  18. Great post! I have recently been very unwell and have had to put life on hold. I constantly think to myself 'what am I doing?'. You're right though, it doesn't matter. It's the little things on a day to day basis that count. It was wonderfully re-affirming to read this, so thank you.

    Faye | freckles-and-all.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. You're more than welcome Faye. What a lovely comment to read! Wishing you all the best!

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  19. I absolutely *love* this post, it perfectly sums up exactly the sort of weird feeling I've had since graduating this time last year. I'm trying to work things out, work out what I want, what I want to do - all the things you have said, and I've felt like I'm the only one feeling like this! It feels so comforting to see that I'm not alone in this. Thank-you, honestly!

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    1. Thank YOU for the comment Clare, what a lovely note to read. I think what I'm trying to get at is that there's no rush to get to "where you want to be" and there's no shame in not even knowing. With so much social media in our faces and so much happening, it can feel really overwhelming to try and find your feet, so I just wanted to squish those worries for some of us! (:

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  20. So much love for this post!
    x

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  21. I think it is really difficult when there is a pressure to have everything sorted as soon as you graduate. I am lucky enough to have a job I really enjoy but it took a lot of hard work and souls searching to get me there!

    Maria xxx

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    1. Mm definitely, there's SO much pressure... as if there isn't already enough pressure on us lot!

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