As the kids of America (whoa), we’re told that with enough hard work and determination that we can become whoever want to be. Our parents encourage us to pursue our passions and remind us on too many occasions of how special we are and how much we have to offer. And then one day we’re expected to know our life calling. Society expects us to have our shit figured out and to fully assimilate without fully understanding how the world around us actually works. We stumble into college majors we know nothing about, only to discover that perhaps it isn’t what we wanted, that is of course after completing too many credits. We reach for internships and jobs we don’t have the personal connections to land and we find ourselves in entry level positions living just to pay the bills.
The issue with being told that we’re special and important is that we expect our life to be somehow reflective of that. We don’t want to just work an entry level job. We want to be important, we want to have our existence recognized and we want to feel like we’re making our life actually count. But perhaps the sad truth is that we really aren’t that special. Maybe we aren’t meant to be known worldwide or have a Wikipedia page. Maybe we’re just meant to work a safe job, have a family and some close friends and live out our days that way.
It’s impossible for me not to feel as if I have something more to offer the world than some people. Which is an incredibly narcissistic and self obsessed thing to believe, I know. I don’t want to just live and die. I want to live a life of creativity, a life worthy of being remembered. And it’s not enough for me to live a simple life surrounded with people who love me- I need to be recognized. I need to feel like I made an impact beyond just the people I loved. But what scares me is that this is probably something every other American twenty-something thinks and feels. And it’s disheartening to think maybe that little voice inside me that tells me I’m meant to do something much more is just something all American youth have been brainwashed into having.
I dream of many things. I dream of being a TV or film writer. I dream of someday being interviewed by Chelsea Handler for God knows why or walking on a red carpet. I dream of thousands of people reading this blog on a daily basis. And I try, I honestly do, to make my dreams become a reality. But it’s discouraging when you see others stumble into success unintentionally. Like the girl from my town who ended up placing in third on American Idol. I mean of course she was talented, but I can’t help but to think she was somehow lucky to end up in the position that she was in. It’s almost as if success is just one fucked up lottery where certain people end up with a better ticket. And it almost makes me want to give up completely. No matter what success I have, it’ll never compare to the success of others. And I know we’re told not to compare ourselves to others- but let’s be honest, it’s something we all do. It’s just difficult to tell if you’ve come to the point in your life where you need to get over this inflated sense of self and learn to be content with the life you have.
I’m trying to find success within my self. I’m doing my best to be happy with what I have while striving for things that are actually within a realm of possibility. Maybe it’s enough that a few hundred people read my blog a day. Maybe it’s enough to work a “so so” job and live modestly. We only have one life- and it’s better to live an average one than to entirely waste it wishing you had something better. And I’m only 21 years old- I know I have a lot more years to be more cynical about this kind of stuff. So I might as well enjoy what I have while I have it- because it’s only a matter of time before my metabolism switches off and I gain 400 pounds from all of the carbs I eat.