"Learning not to live according to others' expectations?"

I left school with 2 Cs and 1 D in my GCSEs. After two years I went back to college and did a week-long course to bump my D to a C. Shortly after that I got my first job, which I quit after two weeks.

This was not the life I expected to be living, much less the life everyone else expected me to be living!

Here's the thing; I was predicted 11 GCSEs grades A*-C. It was a given that I'd either do A Levels or go to college and study a vocational course. I got part of that right, in that I did go to college. I just didn't stay there.

It was around the time that I left college that I realised life is effectively a popularity contest. If you want to "make it" in a certain field, it's pretty important that you're liked by the people who have already "made it" in that field.

Now I look at where I am in life, and whilst I'm still not where I thought I'd be or even where I want to be, I'm happier than I was when I thought I was doing the right thing. As much pain as it took to get me off that path and onto the path I'm currently on, I'm grateful! I'd rather be unemployed, short on money, and happy, than working 9-5, well-to-do, and unhappy. Wouldn't we all?

I'll never forget being criticised for turning down an opportunity to live in England and have an office job. Sure, it'd have been "experience". Sure, my bank account might have been healthier than it is now...but it would have been miles away from what I'm utterly convinced I'm meant to be doing.

But wait, what is this thing I'm convinced I'm meant to be doing? Well...look around. This, this is what is making me happy and keeping anxiety and depression at bay. This website is what's keeping my head above water. Not a call centre or fax machine in sight.