A while ago I wrote a snappy little poem about the benefits of pursuing happiness- that you gain from pursuit itself and the end result is irrelevant to those gains. There were also comments in it about not squabbling about the behaviour of the Establishment elite. Typical of me then to immediatly not follow my own advice in each and every post after… and at home. I pursue nothing, and talk politics.
It is becoming apparent for my generation that we all of us will struggle with a depressing dilemma over ambition and practicality. We are all suffering career mobility issues that previous generations did not face, after an upbringing that nearly always focused on helping us become tenacious in our ambitions and certain of our inflated individual worth.
More concisely- our parents made us think we were all special (even though logically we can’t all be special); they pushed us to go to university and dream big or dream quirky; and just as we came of age to be leaving the nest the period of good fortune enjoyed by our parents during the late 90s ended.
What then do we do? Do we do something ‘in the meantime’?
What does that even mean- ‘in the meantime’… Meantime until which particular event comes to pass exactly? What is it you are waiting for? The second coming?
The ever determined individuals from generation Y will either struggle on after much hardship and get where they are going, get close enough, or end up back at their parents when they refuse to admit defeat. The pragmatic individuals that are left will see uncertainty and accept any job coming to them, purchase the cheapest items they require, and be housed for the cheapest rent possible. Whether due to hardship or stagnation nearly all of us will end up in some way emotionally put out.
If it was not already apparent to some people following my blog, I have not been in a very affable mood of late. In fact, I have only recently realised that affability could be a mood you could be in or out of… by deffect of the latter.
I find myself choosing to be distent. Not unfriendly, but not forward with kindness either.
Neither am I trying to pursue anything- happiness or ambition.
I am a Gen-Y chic that after going through the hardship aiming for ambition decided to be pragmatic. I say decided. To me at the time I felt like I had no choice. I did not have a parent’s home I could run to, so when things got bad it was an option of attend university as a homeless person or work and be housed.
Work is where I have stayed. Here in stagnation I can feel myself becoming less human. That is not just hyperbole.
Choosing to be distent when you work in a bar requires true effort. To pull it off you give up your individuality. When people try to bring out the human within with anything from ‘how are you?’ to ‘so working here is just what you are doing for the meantime?’ I shut down the conversation with any small talk that I can muster. Why? Because talking about me, makes me more unhappy.
Moving in with 3 housemates, who all share very similar cultural preferences as myself would seem like a safe haven then. Somewhere I could be myself and find a little happiness to keep me afloat. Turns out any social contact is creating the same stagnant, distent reaction. I should already be getting along famously with these people. I should be learning about the quirks of their childhoods, work, family, eating preferences and through social activity creating our own in-jokes. Instead I find myself not listening and staying quiet for the most part. Occasionally I wake to my surroundings and try to contribute to conversation.
When I try to contribute it is usually current events and politics. Most people find ways to have serious conversations and still be lighthearted. These days, I cannot. Used to. Now when I open my mouth I end up depressing the tone of the discussion and ruining it for everyone else.
Previously I spoke of trying to get back into gaming- finding time to go through some interesting ones I had bought. I have also purchased a lot of very interesting books. This was when I started to feel this shit coming over me. What I was going to attempt to do was use a little escapism to get my happy hormones back on track. Perhaps that could still be something I could try.
Unfortunately it is Christmas time…
[I can’t believe I just wrote that. I love Christmas. Used to. Some people hate that there are a lot of expectations around this time of year, but to me they were anticipations. I was really good at picking gifts people would like; I really loved making and decorating; I loved to cook and to sing. I do! In me somewhere I still do love those things.]
… and I haven’t time for gaming and reading. I try to read while eating sometimes. The result is that I have re-read the same page for the last week straight, each time getting interupted by people around me.
Making me even more distent!!! Never getting time to myself is making me try to find that time when I am still surrounded by people.
I should (we all should) pursue happiness. But where is it?
What do I do? Stay safe in the work environment? Escape when I can? Find joy in the simple things and ignore the big bad world outside of my bubble?
Or do I through caution to the wind? Drop the hours, the gaming, the reading… and reawaken the dream? Never shying away from the truth or the people? Can I even face that right now…
The true answer for Gen-Y is to stay hungry. Ambition does not hurt you. We just have to learn how much work is required of us before our dreams can be realised.
I give us very good advice… it even seems simple to follow. But it is not.
It is not gonna be easy, but nothing worth the time ever is.
I hope anyone reading this has more gumption to fight that hard fight than I do.