In 2001 Britney Spears famously sang, “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman” and people around the world belted along, singing at the top of their voice. Celebrating the lyrics about the confusion of growing up and not having the answers. 16 years later, do you know these lyrics by heart?
If you spoke to me as a student and asked me what I wanted to do after I finished studying, I would have laid out a 5 year plan – A, B and C – I had my life sorted out, contingency plans and all. I felt that I always needed to run a tight ship, constantly anticipating a storm and knowing exactly where the life jackets were in the unfortunate case of me needing it. I frowned upon uncertainty and responses like “I don’t know” wouldn’t pass my lips.
But today, two years after graduating, if you asked me where I saw myself in 5 years time, my response would be immediate, “I don’t know”. And I’m okay with that. Experience has taught me that I don’t always have to have my life together, I don’t always have to run a tight ship and that it’s okay to let the ship steer off course. Because sometimes, the greatest adventures, and lessons, happen when least expected.
To the one that’s not a girl and not yet a woman I say this; embrace it. Live it up. Enjoy it while you can. And enjoy it to the fullest. The middle ground is the one place you can explore and make the mistakes you need to, because there’s enough room to recover.
So to everyone that’s not a girl, and not yet a woman, bask in the light of opportunity and smile as you explore the unknown. This is your chance to welcome change and grow with it. This middle ground is your chance at true self-discovery, you just need to embrace it.