Every time someone tells a fulltimer how lucky they are to live this life, a kitten dies somewhere. I'm gonna spare you the white privilege spiel. You've heard it before. So in that regard, yes, I am lucky. I was born white in North America in a middle-class family with good loving parents and I went to University. But you know what? That's pretty much where it stops. And at least 90% of the people who call me lucky have the same *luck*. So what's the difference between us, then? I didn’t spend years reading blogs and Facebook posts thinking: I wish I could do it too. I jumped. We jumped. Unsure. Scared. Broke. But we did it. Call us impulsive and irresponsible (some have!), but we chose to do it nonetheless. Because we knew that happiness is found in the search for passion and meaning.
I know many of you are stuck between two generations so different, that you’d think there is more than a 100 years between them. The boomers and their role attribution: the bread-winner, the provider, the responsible father, the good mother, for whom pleasure only came later, in the form of 2 weeks off in the summer, a full pension or a glass of whisky on Friday night after a long hard week.
And at the other end of the spectrum, the millennials, the instant gratification generation, the flexible work schedule generation, the don’t-sweat-the-hard-stuff-generation. The Generation Me. Millennials have seen what chasing "stability" means. And they want none of it.
But what I see in the “I wish I could too” crowd is that they can’t break free from the mold because the mold defines them. Like a bear that grew up in a zoo and that relentlessly walk the same path in his tiny space hundreds times a day. That’s all they know. And they feel like they have no choice but to keep walking it. They've molded themselves into the life they think they are supposed to live. They always did what was expected of them. They locked themselves into their roles.
But why do we need to define ourselves by our roles? Because it’s reassuring. It’s like a neatly organized garage. Everything in its place. A place for everything. Don’t get me wrong, I like order. But I am learning to embrace chaos. As much as you try to contain it, life is messy. Order is an illusion. Stability is an illusion.
The suffer now, enjoy later generation is quickly realizing (with so many of their loved ones passing from cancer at an earlier and earlier age…) that tomorrow is not a given. Something strange happens as you near 40. You realize that you have an expiry date. And more and more people are jumping off the boat before sinking with it.
I see people that have given their whole life to their family, to their boss, to their house… and that kept only very little time and space for themselves, for what makes them, them. And they are left with the image of what they could have done if only… I have only one thing to say to these people: Carpe the hell out of this diem.