Navigating your 20's: growing in confidence and insecurities

 Me looking for some guidance, get it?

I'm not sure if this is going to be cathartic or expose wounds that I'm afraid I can't heal. I'm a bit of an enigma when it comes to social media usage: I'm an avid consumer of such, but rare contributor in a fear of disappointing and focusing on my flaws that I so desperately look to avoid. A sarcastic arse that might be portrayed as miserable and moany, which are attributes I struggle with internally at a continuous rate as although I really don't want to be.  Perhaps just growing up and into myself, I'm understanding more of what I just don't like. Maybe I have to apologise for some thoughts and maybe I don't. A conflicted soul who both wants to just listen to thought provoking podcasts all day, but then worried that I'm not being productive enough and putting such words of wisdom into practise.

When I think back to my more carefree days and what I wanted to be, I'm not sure this is what I had planned. Really, if I could turn back the clock, I would have done something more vocational at university, but all in all I'm eternally grateful I got to escape live an independent life. There's a sense of excitement and freedom only having to depend on myself to earn that drink.

However, even 11 years after completing my GCSEs, I'm still asking myself: 'What do you want to be when you're grown up?' Do I want a career and strive for that all important growing pay packet or do I resent the thought of becoming a slave to any other person than to those I choose? Don't get me wrong, I've always been a worker. Since the age of 15, I was out earning my keep because if I wanted something, there was only one person who was going to get it for me. Work shy, I am not. However, as I've been aimlessly wandering through my twenties, I've been debating what I really want out of life hoping someone would guide me. Whilst my current role that I've been in for 3 years has given me some professional confidence, it turns out I'm still becoming increasingly insecure within myself. Whether that's in terms of aesthetics, career or relationship wise; I don't fit the mould. Sometimes those jigsaw pieces just don't fit.

Spending so much time focused I want to do in my career is exhausting. Is this what I want to be doing in 5 years, do I get anything from my colleagues? I have a really varied role where I'm relied upon for a lot, which is both great as my days are rarely the same and I get to dabble in marketing and liaising with a variety of people, but also frustrating as working in recruitment, I see my faith in humanity dwindling. I fear I'm turning into a Queen Bitch because I'm so sceptical and severely lack trust, worrying when next people are going to let me down in an assignment meaning I have to deal with the one thing I try to avoid: confrontation. You may think, 'oh that doesn't sound healthy', but really, does anyone in a customer/client facing role have a great admiration for the public folk? We often see the worst in people and although some may slightly redeem the qualities of others, I frequently leave with anxiety and a feeling of resentment towards others. That in itself feeds an insecurity of mine; I'm too negative - not as nice as others or just not good enough for my role. I focus on the wrong things.

Ironically, this is exacerbated by when I do surround myself with wonderful people who achieve great things who are admirably head strong and don't seem to get bogged down by the small stuff. Or am I overthinking and just wasting time dwelling when really I should be focusing on my strengths such as organisation and team leading and understanding that I do really like leaving work at the door and having my own time. So should I be aiming for a career ladder? What even is a career nowadays? I just desperately want to turn this frown upside down and regroup at the end of the day and not let such issues define me.

I could probably attribute these feelings of conflict and inadequacy to my overuse of social media (must re-read How to Break Up With Your Phone) and comparing one self to all of the other goddesses out there working that field and simply not aligning my expectations vs. reality. I get that everyone tries to put their best foot forward when it comes to the world of Instagram, but maybe they're not and really just better at things than I am. Maybe I should just be ok with that, because I could have worked harder instead of spending those unnecessary hours scrolling and investing time in mediocre Netflix shows that left me feeling empty. No one should feel like it's too late to start something, but after recently turning 27, I can't help but feel I should have been more of an early adopter and with this, I resent myself for not sticking with all of those hobbies I started, for being easily distracted and even quitting this blog because I felt inferior. I always have to remind myself that as I've decided not to have children, the pressure of certain timescales aren't as prevalent to me as they might be for others, which I'm really grateful for.

These doubts of self-worth also bleed into my insecurities of looks. Despite having the confidence to hold my own in a meeting, visit sites solo and in general not caring what people may think of me, I'm also more aware of my flaws. Too self-reflective for my own good, perhaps, but also living in an age of not only comparing my professional output, but also the way I appear. Although growing up, I was this wallflower just trying to climb in the shadows and not be noticed by teachers or those of superiority, I remember feeling this freedom with the way I looked. During these times, no one knew what a weak chin meant or understood how your profile could be off balance. Now, I look in the mirror noticing the changes in my skin, how my nose is too uneven and a bit of botox wouldn't go amiss. When in reality, I should kind of embrace being a little different. I will admit, I recently had chin filler and it does make me feel better and thinking about the nose too as it doesn't photograph well. I feel sad about that as the I press the keys. Does that just boil down to the fact that I don't conform? It's strange how things turn around. Are we always supposed to feel this tug of war inside? When really, I shouldn't give a flying f, but I freeze up in social situations when someone's phone pops out for a photo and the voice in my head 'this isn't going to turn out well.'

Is this just 20 something melodrama? I need to refocus. Just because I don't work in a fancy office, have thousands of followers, have x amount in my bank or have the chiselled jaw line of Candice Swanepoel, it doesn't mean I'm not doing ok. Am I just suffering at the hands of a society where we're always expected to do more, be more, have more? Is there even a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow? What is that I'm even wanting? When I sit back and think of all the aspects of my life, no I'm not paid well, but I have privileges such as being able to afford rent, TV's, to pay off my credit card and go on some of the holidays I want. Yes, I have to watch what I spend, budget for those few meals out per month, but when I strip that back, my true goals are really quite basic: to learn as much as possible, live a little spontaneously; give back to society and the environment, and explore. That's what really gives me the self esteem and satisfaction with my days. Although doing that with the vintage Burberry bag I've been wanting forever would be ideal, but when it comes down to it, what are you going to remember the most?

Am I a candidate for therapy? Please tell me. I'm eternally grateful for those wonderful creatures I have in my life who inspire me and let me vent at them. It's just hard always wanting more, but not sure what more is. I give myself a virtual slap and use this post as the kick I need to work on my thought processes and whilst showing gratitude to the positive aspects in my life, I must respect and nod to the fact that the world isn't simple or black and white. When there are highs, there are lows. I really want to live more mindfully, not live in the future, dreading what might be, but to accept that challenges must be overcome whether we like it or not and just because our present isn't what our past imagined it to be, doesn't make it bad or of any less worth.

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