Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Everyone In Their Twenties Is Lost



“I know what you mean though, about feeling lost.”

She had finished university 3 years ago. She’d found a well-paid and stable job at a company she liked, one that coincided with her own personal interests. She’d quietly stacked building blocks to improve her self-esteem, and she was comfortable. But it was like the puzzle piece that looks like it should fit, and you end up forcing it in.

This girl is my friend.

We were catching up after months of being apart. I fiddled with a stained coffee cup as I told her that while some aspects of my life seemed like they had fallen into place, that I had no idea where my life itself was headed. Yes, I had matured and grown into myself. I had exposed and demolished my barriers, and moved on from the pesky essence of my 21 year old caricature.
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I know that in the grand scheme of things, my life could be worse. But it could be a lot better, and I don’t know how to make it that way. There are no road signs or U-turns, and there are no pin pointed maps with routine stops along the way. Going home put my brain in the past, where there was no good to be found. I was never one to find the rewind button to be a kind tool.

She told me she knows how it feels. She has some things that many people our age could only wish to have, but she doesn’t know how to find herself. Or how to identify what she’s lost. How can you search a lost and found if you don’t know what you’re looking for?

She knew the aftertaste of normalcy. Normalcy, like gin, leaves you dry and regretful. Normality was not what we expected. We wanted to build lives we could be proud of. Mediocrity was the only enemy.

Some of us are sprinting down a dead end road at the speed of a racehorse. Some of us are running in circles until we lose our breath, and some of us are lost in a maze of mirrors and unable to escape our own smudged reflections. While we’re all trying to find a road out, an escape path isn’t marked with arrows or signs, it’s more like a hidden trap door. But with all the empty gas tanks, worn out shoes and crumpled pieces of paper, we’re still going back and forth.

At first, I couldn't place this feeling. I couldn't identify it, for one thing. I've never been directionless, and I've never been in a sullen state of limbo. It didn't wear a mask of anger or intense sadness, there were no hot tears or violence. It just hovered like thick grey smog. It followed me, and it was silent.

For some of us, there was a fair share of under preparation. While we’re more clued up than our animated and elated graduate selves, we feel like we've found out that Santa isn't real. Life broke a promise, and then pointed the finger at us.
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We were raised to follow a set of pre-determined ideals and we believed in “the dream.” We thought stacking shelves and waitressing was what you did when you had no education. Now we find ourselves staring into the faces of strangers and refilling their cups, while our ambition goes hungry.

For many of us, we found ourselves disillusioned and angry at our position in today’s economic reality. The tipping of the cap was a broken promise, and we are the ghosts of alumni past and present. We ended up stuck in a rut, where everything was stained with beige. Most of us are bored, and the majority of us are terrified of becoming everything but extraordinary.

We are self indulgent, and sometimes hedonistic. We are confused, and leading ourselves down paths uncharted. While some of us rely on a superabundant relationship with alcohol and trouble, we would sit well with the writers and poets in the dim lights of the bootlegging era. We brood, and we catalogue our experiences. We’re all about discovery, because there is nothing left to do except find answers.

Intellectuals.
Explorers.
Visionaries.

Gen Y are more than narcissistic selfie hoarders.

quotes gif, the great gatsby gif, gatsby quotes
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In the true order of the universe and the great design, as soon as something goes right in your life there will be another life altering event. It will rectify itself, and remind us that nothing comes for free. The universe takes  away as much as it gives us, and it will re-align itself in an effort to tip the scales. 

It might be easier to stay on this road. Because what if where we end up is worse than never knowing? A journey is more than ripped maps, wooden globes and Polaroid pictures. A journey is something that extends itself far beyond that, it's human evolution. There’s always a way out. No one is ever truly lost.