Don't settle

Tri-Cities Now
January 31, 2014 03:47 PM

Re: My Generation teen column,” Friday, Jan. 24.
I read Shantelle Chan’s column, titled “We settle because it’s easy,” and I found it thoroughly disheartening that a teenager can already be so jaded and disillusioned about life.
I am one of those ambitious people constantly striving for what I want, despite obstacles and tragedy along the way. However, I don’t always view obstacles as a hindrance.
I am a firm believer that life often takes you in mysterious and unexpected directions. In 2010, I moved to London, England to pursue a career in publishing, which never happened, but I did meet a man from Christchurch, New Zealand and subsequently moved there to be with him.
I spent a year in Christchurch and although it wasn’t the happiest time in my life and I have since moved back to PoCo, I do not regret going. I could have easily stayed there and worked my way up in a job I enjoyed and married that man. I ultimately decided to move home because I knew none of it was a right fit for me. I went from living independently, being in a serious relationship and earning decent money to moving home with my mother and becoming a full-time student with a negligible income.
And that’s because I know that I can be whatever I want — within reason. In my opinion, the problem is that we dream too big, as we are encouraged from an early age that we can achieve anything. It’s important to dream, but it is equally important to set realistic and pragmatic goals. Otherwise you will be one of those people I meet that is in a job and/or relationship they hate and frozen in place, unable to accomplish what they want.
As a result of me following my passion for travel, I am finishing my BA at 27 (nothing related to my childhood dream job of becoming a lawyer), while friends are attaining their PhD. When I feel envious of their academic success, I force myself to reflect on all the amazing experiences I’ve had all over the world.
Each person wants different things and you need to put into perspective what will truly make you happy — it is easy to settle, but try to be one of those select few that know they can do better and actually attempt to attain that goal.  
Brianna Girdler
Port Coquitlam

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