07-17-2010, 03:19 PM
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I'm around your age (will turn 21 a bit before the end of this year) so I hope you don't mind me giving you some 'colleague' advice.
I think people handle different way with situations like that. Some of people are more impulsive and rush into things they want and when their interests change, they go for them without thinking it much. Some other are more cautios and think a lot about things, plan, before doing any decisions. Both of styles have their good and bad sides but as far as you can survive with them I don't see you have any major problems. People reach their goals via different ways and there's nothing wrong with it.
If you want to hear my personal way in situations like you described I prefer planning with feelings included. Go for it what your heart tells you right to do but be also farsighted. Around that age you haven't usually had that much life experience yet but you have to start to create your own life as an adult, independent human creature, step by step. Being farsighted is my way to subtitute lack of that life experience, creating scenarios and asking help from more experienced people is a way I try to figure out how to deal with things I don't know yet (like: "There's a thing x, I feel that about it and want to deal that way with it but what will happen if I do it? What are the pros and cons?) I'm also a big sissy cat as to changing things so if I had a situation like you with your travelling plans and I noticed that my mind has changed 'without my permission', I'd be totally lost. It'd be good to you to sit down and let the situation 'ripe' in your heard. Are you really sure you feel you don't like it anymore? What's the next goal? I still suggest that if you find you don't want to reach your travelling plans anymore, don't force yourself. You've sure put some effort to that dream but I'm sure you can find a new goal (for example those horses) in which you can benefit resources you've collected for your travelling dream. If the goal change then again some day, it's time to mull over things again and decide what's the best way to go then. As the one of the most greatest worrywart in the world myself I don't believe I say that but don't worry about things too much beforehand. Things will always be organized some way and changing goals are a part of human life, especially in that age. Like I know many of my upper secondary school classmates have changed their school and goals after the school they chose when graduating the upper secondary 2 years ago.
I know the feeling of unsureness is horrible. Too many doors open to life, too many choices, too less information and experience to do wise decisions. I had a dilemma about choosing a career, it's a big decision and I felt I wasn't ready to do decisions like that from the base of my current knowledge & self-knowledge at that time. After taking 2 gap years and exploring my choices and sources I ended up to apply to a college that I felt would perhaps be a bit like me tho I don't have any clear vision even yet. Life is still going ahead and when you don't have knowlege, you have to do decisions based on some other things like I base mine on my feelings, advices from other people and farsighting. Not so long ago I heard I got in that college.
About your question about it what people do in your age, I think there are many answers. It's a bit cultural thing too, people are more independent here but I've heard that for example in Italy it isn't that uncommon that people live with their parents even in their 30'ish if they haven't got a job. Over here most of people around that age seems to focus on studying (college students), live on campus area or small rented flats trying to make their everyday studying-focused lives with small incomes coming from general studying grants, parents' support or some temporary/part-time work they have every now and then. Some of people from vocational school (the school some people apply after their 9th grade and often matriculate around their 18'ish) have settled down in working life and start to do their own living, perhaps trying to reach the next goal which can be for example an own house or family. Many young people from vocational school do temporary jobs and their life is unsure because of it. Anyways many in of both of groups still seem to live their late youth; they party, try to experience things and don't want to settle down too tightly yet. Even tho I'm also noticed that there aren't any firm standard how to live in your 20'ish. Like I already stated, many lives kind of 'gate phase' between youth and adulthood then and there are huge differences between life situations in that age. I have friends age of mine who already have kids. I have friends in steady, long-lasted relationships and those who life single life. I have friends who live with their partners, I have friends who live student life with meager incomes, I have friends who live still with their parents.
I see the way you're feeling since I often feel the same way and compare myself to others in my age. I still think you have to find your own path and way; go the way which suits best for you and your goals. If you feel saving for a house is that way, go for it. Don't still be afraid of changing your goals if you really feel so.
Sorry, that became long. Hope it isn't very incoherent.