Happy to be.

The ultimate notion that everyone can have their own dream these days is so outdated. In a world that extends infinite opportunities to anyone who cares to reach for them and decidedly none to those who don’t, there are only so many that we, in our brainwashed college minds, find worthy of our glorious attention. Perhaps it’s the B-school effect sinking in more deeply than I would have ever wanted it to, perhaps it’s the family background that not only promotes judging, but thrives on it. It just seems that instead of going out and trying for ourselves just what it is that makes us deeply and truly passionate about life, our generation is more concerned with securing our futures and making certain our children can “go to whatever college he feels like and not have to worry about the cost”.

What happened to the now-blithe principles of the 70’s? The idea that everyone could be different, that everyone was an individual with singular opinions and not just pose some sort of corporate machinery – isn’t each new generation supposed to revolt against the previous? Were the ideals of our parents’ generation so radical that our “revolt” against them consists of rebounding back against the outermost constraints of reason and becoming more practical than they ever could have imagined? Where is all our utilitarian aspiration coming from?

But this ambition. Ambition seems to only mean anything when your conversational partner has the same nature of criterion. Although it may be…interesting, let’s say, to meet someone in this day and age, at this age, who wants to be an astronaut, it’s also something of a….oh you poor thing. Still chasin’ those Pre-K crayon dreams. 

Maybe it’s the idea that if you were to have a dream, you shouldn’t be looking for it now. The public heaps attention on those who follow their gut instincts and risk everything, but only the ones who succeed – is the attention worth the risk of losing it all? The percentage that does manage to eventually reach the pinnacle of their aspirations is so depressingly minute that most of us just don’t even bother. But does that mean we shouldn’t harbor the ideal? How high do you have to reach in life to be considered to even have a dream? Is getting along in average day-by-day life just not good enough for us anymore? Is simply making a living the dirt floor of ambition?  It seems that everyone but the veriest of the indifferent has at least some sort of ultimate, or at least that has been what we expect of everyone.

Why is this?

Must a student in the medical field always strive to become a doctor? Must an artist look to become a star? Is the business student worthless if he doesn’t make six digits by the second year out of school?

It seems cruel to put it that way and of course the gut reaction will be a resounding no, but think about it – what is the first reaction when someone says their goal is to become a secretary? A construction worker? An accountant? The world wouldn’t spin if it weren’t for those of us who strive to become these irreplaceable things, but (perhaps it’s just at school) no one strives for it.

So what is it, then, GenY? Do we all want to be on top of the world? Why do we judge each other so cruelly when someone is happy just being happy? What happened to just making a life with someone you love? Why was the first involuntary reaction to that last sentence to actually physically scoff?

The thing is though – we can’t all be the best. But according to everyone around us, we all have to strive to be. But there’ll only be one best. So what happens?

Those who strive for it are crushed, their dreams and goals shattered, left to a life of perceived mediocrity and a tolerable but barely above average standard.

Those who don’t will probably end up in the same place. Except along the way, they’re questioned by everyone as to why they don’t. But the thing is: those who are happy just being happy…are going to end up happy.

 

 

If only we could think that way, lol.

 

three more weeks?

I never thought this would ever actually happen – it seems so crazy to me that for the next six months I will actually be living the dream of “backpacking through Europe” that every other teenager harbors.

To study abroad for half a year, free from everything that limits you from doing whatever the hell you want back home, whether that be parents, friends, responsibilities – that’s amazing to me. Incomprehensible, really, at this point.

It’s exactly twelve hours before my first final of the week, and all I can think about right now is the amazing places I want to visit and all the people I could meet in the two and a half months I intend on being on the move.

Terrible timing, but only three more weeks? Incredible.