The struggles of my life as a millennial

The struggles of my life as a millennial started in my childhood.

I have studied and worked hard to get somewhere.

I failed and learned big time.

Now I am realizing my life vision – This is my story.

When working hard is paying off.

My youth was mainly about my mom and three siblings. 

When I was 14 years old, I illegally started working in hospitality. I wanted to earn money to be able to buy things and build-up savings. 

At the age of 20, I graduated with a degree in hospitality management.

At the age of 24 I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and had almost 5 years of part-time experience in a marketing department of a hotel — All the hard work paid off; I easily rolled from one cool job to another in the years following.

The picture-perfect life and still not having it all.

Meanwhile, I got into a stable relationship.

After 5 years, we bought a starter house and renovated it. To make it picture perfect: we got a dog, two cars and a motorcycle.

This was the same year that I started to commute almost 3 hours a day for my full-time bachelor studies.

Additionally, I worked 20 hours during the week, and I had three hands full of good friends that I wanted to see every day.

Yeah. Life was smiling at me, and didn’t allow myself to complain … I did anyway.

Why?

I was missing something.

I thought, “Is this it? Is this the direction I want to go to with my life? HA! Am I in a quarter life crisis?”

It seemed like life had more to offer than what I had until now.

Hence, I ended my relationship of almost 10 years and started to live alone.

Personal fulfilment and my own happiness were my new focus — I was 25 years old at that time.

The pressure of that inner voice.

The next two years flew by.

I loved my work, and I was in a relationship.

He moved to Berlin for an internship, I followed.

Somehow it gnawed at me that I had never lived abroad, unlike many friends had.

The truth is, an inner voice was strongly saying: “You are a woman of 27 years old, if you want to make a career and enjoy life before starting a family, you really MUST do it NOW”.

“You are a woman of 27 years old, if you want to make a career and enjoy life before starting a family, you really MUST do it NOW.”

When struggles become real and life hits the fan as an expat.

Life as an expat was not easy in the beginning.

I was feeling lonely and overwhelmed.

Yet, I didn’t want to move back to the Netherlands so the whole sh’bam happened: friends coming and going, jobs that didn’t match me, a career that suddenly ceased to exist, a long-term relationship that came to an end, and I lost closed ones.

I was tired from all that pressure, all that performing, and that high-speed train I was in.

The consequence?

I was getting more connected with others but sunk in FOMO and was taking YOLO literally too — yup, all distractions; all me.

Then Corona came …

For the first time in my life, I wasn’t lived by life – I was lost and forced to stand still.

I started thinking: “What do I do now? Where should I go? What can I do? Who am I? What brings me joy? What did I learn from life? Which strengths do I have? What is my purpose? How do I make my time that life gives me meaningful?”

In the beginning, I felt stuck and overwhelmed.

But the more I worked on answering these questions, the more purpose, direction, and goals I saw, and the more life was starting to turn into what I was envisioning.

Taking back control of life.

I didn’t want to be dependent on things anymore.

I wanted to become interdependent and take back control of my life.

Therefore, I did some personality and career tests, and made a realistic 3-year plan.

The plan was based on: the things that were important to me (values), what I wanted to achieve in life, and what I needed to reach my goal.

What I think (2020) I have to do to attain the life that I want:

  1. The tests were stating I should focus on roles as a coach or consultant: I found ways to gain skills and knowledge.
  2. Help other people in the pandemic to experience meaning and joy: I started mentoring people.
  3. Improve language skills: I did a German course.
  4. Get a certification that aligns with my strengths and personal values: I did a 6-month full-time program to become a life & business coach.
  5. Find a job that provides a certain level of security, puts me in my strengths, and gives me space to grow again; ideally, a job that let me flourish: Work in progress.
  6. While building a meaningful life; helping people moving forward: Work in progress 🖤

How to help millennials take back control about their struggles in life.

While writing this story, I realized a few things.

I learned a lot throughout life as a millennial.

I have experience with struggles regarding cultural differences, feeling (dis)connected with family abroad, friendships, career, work-life balance, and just landing and adapting to a new environment in general.

And; during the Master Coach program, I also learned which questions to ask, techniques to use and exercises to do, to change mindsets and behaviours and guide people in; conflict situations, choice-making, work-life struggles, uncertainties and barriers, clarity, physical symptoms, relationship issues, ambitions, and career.

Why not combining this?

Why not guiding millennials and empowering them with the tools that can help them build resilience in a life that’s filled with stress, pressure, choice-making and (inner) conflicts?

And so my life vision became reality 🙂