I am the same as an adult.
The quality of my work declined, steadily, just like it did back when I was 12. As a writer with a journalism background, SEO copywriting is painfully near but so far from what I love. I write articles, yes; but I don't tell stories. There's a big difference between crafting a narrative with expertise and insight and simply synthesising a bunch of other people's thoughts on a subject because you haven't the time to research it and you haven't the knowledge of the subject matter to write about the big themes, latest trends or breaking news. My work was getting bad and it wasn't because I couldn't do it, it was because I didn't want to.
The other tantalising thing about this work is that I was working primarily with travel bloggers, giving them money to upload articles I'd written on behalf of clients onto their sites. I realised I was the middle-man, when I wanted to be one of the bloggers, so I started a few blogs and signed up for a travel blogging conference. Because I'd found out just how many people achieve their longterm travel goals, running businesses from their laptops and finding ways to set up passive income.
I've always wanted to travel. I have a list of aims in life from when I was about 8. I wanted to learn lots of languages and travel the world. I've also always had an entrepreneurial spirit. When I was about 10 I decided I wanted to open a pizza delivery service for my neighbourhood with my little brother. When I was 14, I cooked up a whole business plan for a boutique real estate agency, where the service included a spruce up of the property for sale and a chilled bottle of champagne on handover day. Oh yeah, I had all the ideas. These days, all the ideas centre around my niche - arts, words and digital marketing.
So what am I going to do instead of have a job now?
Well, I'm going to travel on the cheap with the money I have saved and blog and set up my own businesses. I have ideas, lots of them. What I haven't had is time to implement any. I have blogs and websites, a book about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a budding reputation as an arts marketing consultant, the ability to write for SEO clients, edit other peoples' words, a laptop and a brain and I think that's pretty much all I need, at least for now. I'm going to discover the joys of coach travel, of voluntourism, of cash-in-hand work and couchsurfing. I'm going to read more from other people who have done what I want to do. Because I don't want to waste my 20s - or any other part of my life - doing things I don't want to. I think there are things more important than having a reliable income. These things are harder, but more worthwhile. Better. More interesting. More challenging. Worth doing and worth talking about.
I cannot be more excited.