Coming from a not so envied position of semi-recently graduated and barely employed, a goodly number of my friends and I are well primed for a little instant gratification. I’m supportive of the fantasy insofar as something falling into my lap would be a nice change from scrabbling up metaphoric jagged cliffs to chase taunting golden mirages of boyfriends, promising careers, and a living space my parents don’t also occupy. But I can’t really embrace the entitlement that my generation refuses to see past. Yes, it would be nice if perfect scenarios presented themselves right in front of me, but I don’t expect that to happen and it’s not something the universe owes me. Capitalism, on the other hand, made some promises that haven’t been kept. I don’t mind working my ass off to get what I want, but putting in all the work only to suddenly realize your goal isn’t there when you reach the end is more than a little infuriating.
In this line of thinking, I was considering conversations I have had with my friends that seemed to end on the same note of dissatisfaction: “Why can’t my ideal someone/something magically appear”. And god knows I sympathize, but what worries me is that they seem to mean it. If they can site even one example (and there is invariably at least one) of someone stumbling into their dream with perfect timing and circumstance all they can think is that it should have been them. All I can think is that it would make a very boring story, but I’m fully aware of my masochistic and opportunistic tendencies. In any case, comparison is not a good verb on which to base your life. You will, without fail, come up short every time. Now weighing things against your own expectations can be equally dangerous, if not more (entirely dependent on your level of self-delusion), but it’s ever so slightly healthier to attempt to live your life on your own terms and based on your own perceptions of reality, morality, success, failure, and happiness. In my opinion. Of course it would be bloody fantastic if you could go to the boyfriend store and pick out a packet of Tall, Handsome, Debonair, Will Let You Name the Children, Comes with Puppy and just add water. Or to go to the Work building, get in the Dream Job Line, and pick up your envelope of…well, you get the idea. But we can’t. And maybe that’s a good thing.
It definitely doesn’t feel like a good thing. Being an adult is hard and often awful, but when the big things work out it’s that much better when you’ve fought for every step towards the goals you want the most. With any luck you’ve reached a place where you can enjoy this massive piece of the puzzle falling into place. Not that I’m in possession of any of these puzzle pieces. I’m still trudging along with one eye on the clouds – just in case my dreams decide to suddenly fall from the sky.