Lost at 23


It is true to say that I’ve been feeling lost on and off for a year or so now. Some days I feel in total control of my life but on others I just panic and wonder what on earth am I doing, and where am I going.

Lovely pembrokeshire road

From talking to different people (and googling a lot!), I have come to understand that these feelings are quite common amongst 23ish year olds. Take a look at this post. Finding this out has been quite comforting in a way as it means I’m not going crazy, and that I’m in good company!

But what is the reason for this?

I have come to a conclusion.

Up until this age, life has been quite straightforward in a sense. Yes, there have been many ups and downs- family problems, playground problems, friendship breakups, relationship breakups, the normal ins and outs and ups and downs of childhood and teenage life. But as far as the direction of life itself was concerned, it was ongoing. There was a set path laid out as a base, everyone was on the same one, and all you had to do was carry on and take what was given to you. All the dramas happened then whilst travelling along that path.

Every chapter had an end goal (ie exams of some sort), and you were awarded for your efforts at the end of each chapter. Until you graduated that is. Receiving that cap and gown was my ultimate goal. It meant that I’d survived 21 years of education and succeeded.

But then the laid-out route stops. It is all of a sudden up to you. I personally decided to move home and go and travel the world after graduating. Saving up enough money to go and do this was my new goal then. It was fabulous and wonderful. After coming home, I didn’t worry about what I was going to do, because I was in the frame of mind of a carefree traveller. I knew that things would be fine. I had a café job for the Summer and worked hard to get my finances back on track.

But by the end I knew I needed something more substantial. Although I wasn’t quite sure what to do. After working back in my previous job for a few months, I applied for what seemed like the perfect job, and got it. I was ecstatic!

And that’s where I’ve been until now.

But I am struggling at the moment with the bigger picture. I’m in a 9-5 office job where there are no goals or targets or appraisals. There is no progression route, and I have no aspirations to be working in my boss’ role. The people I work with are great people, but there is no motivation or positivity. I NEED positivity and goals in my life. That’s what everyone needs!

So yes, I feel kind of stuck. But things are going to change one way or another. I can feel it!


I think feeling lost at this stage is natural and a good thing. It means that I’m thinking about my life as a whole- seeing the big picture. It means that I want to work hard and with a purpose and that I’m aware that this is not what I’m doing now. It is up to me to decide what to do. In a way, this is liberating, it gives me total control over this amazing thing that belongs to me which is called life.

I will start small and be persistent, and see whether small positive changes will eventually lead to bigger ones (I’m sure they will).

I want to set clear goals and be able to see them every day. I want to achieve them by working really hard. I want to see progress. I want to sense the feeling of accomplishment.

So from feeling quite negative for many months, I’m now feeling positive, and I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not quite sure what it is yet, or how close it is. But it is there!

Have you ever felt lost? What did you do?

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