Since the age of 17, I’ve given this industry everything I’ve got. From doing endless work experience placements during my school holidays to interning in London whilst doing my undergraduate degree. I took a year out to work as a junior reporter so I could save up my pennies and do my post grad in magazine journalism, all whilst freelancing, running my blog and volunteering where I could on the side.
I’ve pushed and strived and worked bloody hard to get my name out there and recognised, and I like to think to some extent I’ve achieved that (obviously I still have a long way to go). It goes without saying that I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t love journalism and have a huge, undeniable passion for it, but there comes a time when you need to pause a little and smell the flowers.
So in my quest to make it all worth it, it may surprise you to hear that I’m taking time out and actively choosing to slow down. I’ve moved home from London for a little while so I can press the reset button, and I fill up my tank with energy again.
It’s a daring move, but only because it goes against what everyone says I should be doing at 24. Leaving the career you’ve spent years building up in London to head back to the rolling hills where there’s nothing but terraced houses and rainy days is scary, but it’s a move I’m embracing with open arms.
In this day and age, everything happens so fast. We’re constantly planning our next move, focusing on the next date in our diary and spending hours on end hoping it would hurry up. This need for speed has taught us to be impatient, and it’s trained us to live in the future instead of savouring the right now. We’re not taking it all in because we’re too busy wishing it away.
Taking time out and slowing down is not going to damage my career. Having three months to myself is not going to make everything I’ve worked towards disappear. In fact, it’s going to reinvent me and give me the time and space to re-evaluate what I love doing, and where I see myself going.
It’s important to not get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Just because others around you are on a certain path, it doesn’t mean you need to jump on the next wagon and follow them down it. Everyone’s career is different and how we live out those careers, whether we chose to be a creative freelancer or an office writer, is up to us. It’s important to remember that we’re all different and it’s okay to live your own life, and not live by what others say we should be doing.
The truth is, you never know what life has to offer until you try. Until you take that leap of fear and embrace whatever path it decides to take you on. By replacing your old routine and opening yourself up to new experiences, your giving your creativity and imagination a natural boost.
Obviously, you don’t have to quit London and move home like me to slow down. Taking time out could mean anything from social media free Saturdays or digital day offs. 3 months off and time to just do nothing, is something I need to do for myself because after all, when I come back it could get me to where I’ve always wanted to be.