Expectations in Your 20s

The questions that can drive people nuts and leads some of us to have defensive tactics:

Do they have a job?
Do they know what they want in life?
Do they have a partner?
Are they travelling?
Did they get a degree?

I don`t know about you guys but I actually cant wait for my 30s because of all the ridiculous questions. No one throughout their life knows what they`re doing or what they want. And somehow the babies of the generation, get all the questions just because older people think there are less career opportunities and want to shovel in the younglings where its safest.

Only the ambitious kids get less questions and that`s probably because they have made themselves a concrete pathway of where they want to go. Doesn`t mean that pathway wont crumble at some point; it just means they`re more driven than most to get to their goal.
Why aren`t they also questioned? Everything comes at a price, but people rarely look at what it takes to achieve something.

The only way I managed expectations was to distance myself from the people who had them. Theres the social script, then there`s the spiritual journey you have to take: and it means having loads of faith in taking steps. Otherwise you’re living in fear: according to Oprah, Tony Robbins and the rest of the gurus. But it is true.

I am happy for those who landed dream jobs, got engaged to their loves and went travelling for a bit. I also know from my experiences, that that stuff is just one more step in the bigger picture. If it brings you to some revelations and changes then its the right direction.

But for those working their butts off, getting occasionally heartbroken, don`t buy into the “you should have more” propaganda that you see from others. Hell, I know I have to force myself not to feel jealous of another girlfriend who is usually chasing money and the dream of doing well. In her case, having 3 jobs at once is normal. Not always good but its normal for her. It also means she stumbles into trouble a lot, and I know its because of low morals. Without boundaries she somehow jumps into messes.

Then there is a girl who shares the same intercultural model of expectations as me – fine for your 20s in the west, not OK for some in the East. Just to throw a spanner in the wheel.

I was not able to, for instance, in the family eyes go to the beach as a break between work contracts and Christmas. That one was a good and funny example as at least one colleague and boss from my old work actually gave me an alibi, “take a break”, “January will be the best time”.

The East? Has its own frustrations. The East (From eastern europe to asia… perhaps latin america) says if you`re not married with kids by 30, you are a concern to the family. And if you have not been educated, can not speak their language or have a steady job, again you are a massive concern to… everyone.
Extra pressure if you`re the only child or oldest grandkid. Guilty!

Bottom line is, people are buying into myths. Having more, knowing more, getting more. Pushing yourself to the limit. That you can be on your own and life will improve. The craziest myths that defy every healthy philosophy and spiritual logic.

20s are indeed for setting life up but the stupidity of this in my opinion, lies in the fact that a whole decade will not set everything up for you – its your whole life. I know this, things take time. So sweating the small stuff because you`re being paid to or otherwise get anxiety for, is simply retarded. We are not made for that.

Set up reasonable expectations, keep them stable – or change them – but stop grilling young people on what they`re doing in life. Even my relatives know that`s stupid because its back to front parenting. Because no one knows.

Getting ahead? Yeah sure kudos if you’re going for the big apple or something but why should that be the goal of 99% of the millennials? Straight logic isn`t really the way things work. Fear based living isn`t the healthy kind.

Photo: mine, near Dan Murphy`s, Sydney.

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