It is OK not to follow the expected path

by - December 06, 2020

2020 has definitely thrown a lot of new situations at everyone that we did not expect to experience. It might mean that plans we originally had have gone out the window. I have had various realisations recently - all of which are not what I originally had in mind. It has been a little scary because I am going against the norm, or a case of this just is not the circumstances I would thought I would be in. But, I know that I am not the only one and that COVID-19 has changed things for everyone. Whilst we are isolated, we do have a common hardship we are all going through- a very rapidly changing world and environment.

There is always an idea of what you are meant to do and what life is supposed to look like, but most of the time real life does not meet that expectation. A pandemic definitely highlighted that to everyone. Sometimes, we make plans and they disappear or the new circumstances we find ourselves in mean that what we previously had in mind no longer feels right. To be quite frank, as I am sat here writing this, I never thought I would be in the position I am now. Back when I first started University I thought the route I was going to follow would be the the 'norm' and I had a decent plan of what I felt I wanted to do. That, however, was before a pandemic and before I realised that the expectation on most law students of working in a huge international commercial law firm is not for me.

Changing or not following the path that is expected of you or one which you thought you might end up following is daunting. It is going from feeling like you know what you are doing to suddenly not being so sure. Sometimes we focus so much on the conventional route that we forget what we as individuals actually want. That each of us have our own paths to follow and that may not necessarily be the route we thought we would take.

My point of sharing this is to say that there are more people than we think not following what feels like the expected path. I think I have spent the last few months trying to push myself in a direction that was not right for me just to feel like I fit in. To feel like I am following the route that everyone around me imagines I should take. But, sometimes we focus so much on what is expected that we forget that this is a journey for all of us and that nobody's journey looks the exact same. There is no 'expected path' because it is supposed to be different for everyone. It is OK not to follow the path you were originally led to believe is expected of you.

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