Just in case you missed my last feature, let’s catch you up; I am a woman who just hit 31, grossly misunderstood and not handling adulthood well, in short, an adult interrupted. In this one, I want to tackle emotions that revolve around my constant battle with futility.
One of my flaws is that I have a superiority complex that drives my ambition. A godlike attitude that somehow makes me believe that I was put on this earth to save Africa. I must remind myself now and again that the reason we have not found a cure for HIV has little to do with my decision to study Accounting instead of getting into Health Research and that my repulsion for anything liquid coming out of a human body would have likely made me the worst health researcher.
That said, I still maintain that I could have chosen to focus on something more impactful. Perhaps something that could have allowed me to better Africa’s economic prospects. This at best allow me, to find a solution to the plague that is unemployment which contributes greatly to poverty and in turn to the spread of HIV. If I had, I would have killed two birds with the same stone……Magic, right?No! Who am I kidding? I discovered my hatred for economics early on in my academic life. I have yet to make my mind up about who to blame for this; the lecturers who could have tried harder to sell me the erosion of skills concept or myself for not showing any interest at all. At this stage I have decided that I can’t possibly take this one on as well.
So being doomed to live out my life as a boring Accountant, I resorted to using my obviously inferior skills to provide support to people that are killing it at trying to save the world. Don’t get me wrong, the Accounting profession might be inferior here, but it still serves our society. Also,someone has to do it and I figured I will stop whining and be that person. At this point you must be asking yourself how we got here. How talking about my boring profession has anything to do with the emotional turmoil that has me feeling unproductive or useless, even.
The point I am trying to bring across here is that at my age I question my professional life decision; is this career good enough? Will I be happy doing what I am currently doing for the rest of my life? At the height of my career, will my success benefit anyone else besides myself? At the same time I am aware that taking on a new profession or new projects is getting more difficult with age. I had all my twenties to make up my mind about how I plan to make money well into my adult life, because let’s face it; the costs of changing your mind in your thirties increase exponentially.
“Take on a loan”, but how long will I have to play hide and seek with my dear old friend death before I realize none of us get out of this one alive? I hear you scream “savings!” The truth is, in this economy only a few can afford to save, and the rest of us barely scrape enough of our wages along to afford a livelihood. I hate to live out the stereotype of millennials, but this is our biggest curse.
So on a daily, I oscillate between trying to do my job to the best of my ability; reflecting the passion I have for this profession albeit not one that leads to finding a cure to the world’s most threatening diseases, and fighting the feelings of futility knowing I am not at the centre of the fight against the evil. I also think I could do better to give back to the world that has allowed me to live out my life.
However, I am learning that I am but a puzzle piece, and the world is prepared to adjust whether I chose to contribute or not. Even more important is that I get over myself and exist without making excuses for what I chose to do with my life. I am the only person I have to answer to, and every sense of non-fulfillment I have is me projecting on the world. More important, while I must allow myself to feel all the emotions that take over, I must make sure they don’t consume me. Emotions want to be felt, because it is the only way to know you are alive. So my advice about this nagging feeling of futility is to embrace your life and all the waves that come with it, and understand that you are but a tiny piece of an evolving world.
As for myself, I have developed a few tricks to help me squeeze as much happiness as I can out of life:
Get a cup of coffee as soon as you are able to ‘person’
Accept that traffic happens
Get a selfish moment with nature when you can
Get your emotions under check, because seriously, people are always going be ###holes.