‘IS this all that there is to life?” An old friend fired at me during one of our marathon Viber sessions. She was younger than I was and still had light years ahead of her and yet here she was right smack in the middle of what I call a quarter life crisis.
Our conversation haunted me for the rest of the workday. What is it that we all live for? Nume-rous studies have shown that the “millenial” generation (oh to be reduced to one group is unnerving) has a completely different definition of fulfilment as opposed to the generation who raised us. If our parents thrived on “owning” things, we thrive on experiences and this is where the gap begins.
Now, owning the latest car or having a home before a certain age is no longer a sign of success, instead we bank on experiences and thrive on our travels.
Dubbed as the wanderlust generation, we are faulted for wanting to experience the world rather than sit in our cubicles. My generation (aka the Titas of Millenials) is smacked into the middle of these two generations, easily transitioning from one group to another.
Growing up, I was told to be successful as dictated by the world but when I started my first job, that was when the first wave of what is arguably the biggest shift in perspective happened. Suddenly, everyone was into moving from one place to another, never committing to one thing and I felt out of place because while everyone chased after the pleasures in the world, I was determined to lay roots down.
So this is why I knew what my younger friend was asking. She felt displaced because she had a drive evident in millenials yet unacceptable to some. In the age of Instagram and hashtags, it’s quite hard to believe that contentment can be found in staying still.
We are told to “chase” after our dreams and take risks but what if what works for me is laying the foundation right where I am? Are we adapting into a new lifestyle but still remain as unforgiving as previous generations? As a teenager, I always had it in me to go against the crowd and even at 27, here I still am challenging the norms as Morrie Schwartz then said we should.
As a young professional, I was eager to fill my resume with titles and my social media sites with photos of the “good life”. I refused to be just one thing in a multi-hyphenated world and while this brought me a robust motivation, it also led to many nights of anxiety. That was when I woke up and asked myself, Am I living the life I truly want or is it simply the life I was told to have?
That’s when I realized that more than what’s happening around us, we can only truly enjoy life when we change our perspective. We can shift from one cultural mindset to another but the only way we can truly be joyful is to be content.
After much contemplation, finding the meaning of one’s life is not as complicated as what we make of it. In fact, it is simple. What is it that makes your heart flutter? What is it that makes you joyful at the end of the day?
The key to life is going after those things, no matter how difficult it may seem and whether or not they are accepted by society. What matters is that we are rooted in the things we love, and passionate about what we do; so we find life’s true meaning, and eventually learn to be proud of what we do.