Concern for the 20-Somethings

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Striving toward my definition of greatness: having the ability to slow down, look around, and want nothing more.

With everyone asking about future post-grad plans, the concerned looks and comments 20-somethings get are abundant.  You probably know exactly what I’m talking about, and, if not, you needn’t read on since you most likely have your shit together.  For the rest of us, hopefully we’ll get there at some point, but for now we may just have to endure.

In this in-between time, we are finishing up with school, deciding not to continue, picking up new hobbies and rediscovering old ones, and/or working obscure jobs (that we may or may not be overqualified for).  On the surface, these may appear as inconsequential or even reckless actions spurred by too much free time.  But all the while, we finally have some time for ourselves; time to figure out what it is that we want and what we don’t want, to realize our dreams and our true passions, and to simply figure out and solidify who we are.

All of the folk concerned with our current uncertainty or our unconventional life goals have likely gone through the exact same thing.  Maybe they’ve forgotten?

Even though their apprehension comes from a place of love and genuine desire for us to succeed, it can still come across pessimistically judgmental or as a distressing lack in faith.

We are seen as too distracted in an age of immediate information and excessive technology, too ambitious in regards to our lofty goals that pull us further and further from reality, and too optimistic towards change in a world so filled with injustice, revolving around systems designed to merely favor the affluent.

They may have a point; but, then again, they may not as times have changed.  We are a new generation of dreamers, dreamers who value passion over money.  We aspire to greatness, but of a greatness that we define for ourselves.  We aspire to success, but to a success measured by happiness.  And we aspire to wealth, but to a wealth of experience and connection.

Perhaps we grew up in an age rid of the struggles our parents went through and therefore have the privilege to value conventional forms of success with less enthusiasm.  Or maybe our generation is actually the one that will change its mindset and change the world for the better.  Who knows? We could just be the next wave of hippies desperately searching for peace and bound to reject the countless ills of society and politics, (arguably, I don’t think that would be a bad thing).

No one can say for certain what the future will hold but I should hope that we will continue to follow our passions regardless of the possibility of failure, regardless of the seemingly pressing concern over our grasp on reality, and regardless of the omnipresent notion that life wears everyone down in time and isn’t set up for such disparate visionaries.

So, to all those 20-somethings with concerning unconventional life aspirations, I guess this is the time in which we are supposed to make a decision.  We can make the experienced adults in our lives content by giving in and getting that revered “real job,” or we can respectfully prove them wrong by ardently working towards and achieving our own definitions of success and wealth and greatness.

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