Updated: Jun 12
From a young age, I was told I could be and do absolutely anything I put my mind to.
I was told I deserved it all.
The world was my oyster, so why should I settle for anything less than extraordinary?
I appreciate why the ones who love me most would want me to believe this and push me to live the best life possible.
What they didn’t understand, however, is the immense pressure this places on me, and so many other millennials like me, as we grow up and begin to take on the reality of our society.
We’re raised as seekers rather than appreciators.
Not long ago, I had it all. An amazing job with a great paycheck, a brand new car, a house that I loved, incredible friends and family, and a boyfriend I was crazy about.
On paper, this was more or less it: the American dream (even for us Canadians). I felt like I was on top of the world but, in hindsight, I didn’t know how to truly appreciate what I had.
I left my amazing job—the best one I’ve ever had—because I wanted more. I didn’t want to settle. What if the grass were greener elsewhere?
But more isn’t always better.
I’ve felt so unsettled and unsure since leaving that job. Sure, I’ve taken on many ventures since and they’ve all brought me some form of contentment and satisfaction, but nothing quite like that first high. So, I kept changing paths and taking on new ideas—always seeking.
It became increasingly evident that approach was getting me nowhere, so I decided to sell every last thing I owned at the end of 2016 and I booked a one-way ticket out of Canada with no plan. My only intention: figure out what fulfilment really means.
I’m now in my late 20s and—no surprise here—I feel more lost and uncertain than ever. But
I’m not alone. The more I connect with people my age, the more I realize this is a common theme.
Many of us feel as though we peaked too young and we don’t know what to do when it’s just not enough anymore. We’ve been taught to never settle so, even when we have it good, we want more. This leads us to constantly re-evaluate relationships, jobs, our definition of happiness and success, where we call home—everything we stand for and who we think we are.
We’re ill-equipped to deal with this quarter life-crisis on our own and navigate our way out of it.
Yes, the experiences we have and everything we take on helps us to learn and grow in fundamental and powerful ways, but where do we go from here? How do we live a more fulfilling life when we feel like nothing will ever compare to what we’ve walked away from, or what we imagine we should be striving for?
For those rolling their eyes, thinking we’re just young and naïve: I am truly happy you’ve figured your world out and are rocking it, but this is our reality. This is what so many 20 and 30-somethings are dealing with and working through right now.
Originally posted on Elephant Journal