When you're my age and spent an extra two years in college trying to work your way toward a degree that you believe was the right one for you, it's easy to feel the pressures of your other, slightly successful friends. They have a two-year head start on the real world over you, and 99% of them have 9-5's; full time jobs with salaries and benefits. Chances are high they all hate their jobs, bosses, and coworkers, but love the money they make and the things they can spend it on. They're able to live in the city, or just outside of it, where all the other young professionals reside. Living college years all over again, except with more responsibility and more money. You see the same people everywhere, and no one wants to be in a relationship. Everyone wants to sleep with everyone.
This is where I get confused.
I want to live that lifestyle of a fun, single woman in her mid-20's while I can, before all the serious stuff happens. Marriage? Kids? Not that I have any clue when that will happen. For now, I want to be free and have fun, making mistakes and learning from them. I want to start making money and investing, build a future for myself and feel secure with my independence. Not having to depend on anyone else would be a great feeling, especially for someone like me who trusts < 4 people. But I can't really get to that status without having a job like them...
I don't want a 9-5. I don't want regularity in my schedule. I don't want to wake up every day and do the same thing at the same desk at the same computer in the same program for 40+ hours a week (and trust me, in my field it would be more than 40). Being a minion would trap my creativity and personality into a small cube that wouldn't allow for growth or promotion. Getting to the point where I feel like I can be myself around new people takes awhile for me, especially in an office setting. I never quite felt secure in any type of office; the intimidation to be professional was always stressful.
My personality is not one that eases into office environments where you have to watch your etiquette before opening your mouth. I am a free spirit, dammit. I will do what I want. Designing for firms that don't even fit my design goals and aspirations seems counterproductive. I would rather spend my time at a part-time job I enjoy with people who make me laugh and smile. We can joke in manners that would never be acceptable in an office, and actually get our job done at the same time. I can wear casual clothes without feeling like I'm being ridiculed by others in their pencil skirts and heels.
And! I'm able to walk around, therefore getting exercise, opposed to sitting in a chair all day eating and probably gaining some pounds that are unnecessary. Besides, I'd rather spend my day drinking coffee, reading blogs, and pinteresting to keep my inspirational point of view on the world in tact. Working in an office would just limit the time I have to do the things I love.
Maybe the fact that I haven't been successful with my job interviews is a sign that it's not meant to be. They go well, but never end up better than "thanks for trying, but we have to choose someone else." I have met many pleasant professionals, but I'm still trying to figure out what the one thing is that's missing. There is something they have that I lack. It's not passion, and it's not hard work ethic. It might be obedience for settling, and that is obviously something I do not have.
Someday I'll figure it out. But for now, I'll just keep this mantra in mind. Just do what makes you happy.