“It was a bright, dry, daily ordeal, his personal measure of tedium. It had taught him new ways of spacing out the hours of the day – almost time to go down for coffee, almost time to go out for lunch; almost time to go home – and he had come to rely on the desolate wastes of time that lay between these pleasures as an invalid comes to rely on the certainty of recurring pain. It was a part of him.” – Richards Yates, Revolutionary Road
I have this quote posted up in my office at work as a constant reminder to not allow this to become my life. I do not want to measure out my life in coffee spoons, as T.S. Eliot would say. I have this one life, this one go around, and I don’t want to waste a second of it.
I come from a generation that was promised the world, and we expected no less than the entire world. Our parents led us to believe that we could be anything we wanted to be, and when the real world finally opened up in front of us, and reality struck, we were all dumbfounded. The low-paying, paper shuffling, data-base primate jobs that we were confronted with were not at all what we had expected. Where was our piece of the pie? Where was our epic adventure?
When people are still in college, they often have these huge, idealistic dreams of what life will be like after they graduate. Some dream of moving to Paris and writing a novel, others dream of becoming world-famous revolutionists. It’s upsetting how quickly these dream die after the student loans start piling up and we are expected to accept the first semi-decent paying job that comes our way.
Because of the lousy economy and dwindling job market, the people of Generation Y have been asked to settle in more ways than one. Many of them are unemployed. Many others are stuck in jobs that they absolutely hate. There is this almost global feeling of unfulfillment and restlessness.
Despite a bad economy or not, it seems that people are always allowing themselves to settle. It’s as if they are too afraid to wait for something better to come along. I have noticed this trend in my own life. I grab onto the first thing that comes my way, be it a job, a man, or Friday night plans. I am so terrified of ending up short handed that I throw the towel in almost immediately.
What are the risks associated with never settling? What does one have to sacrifice in order to live out their dream? And how do you find yourself settling?