I’m a really observant person. I often don’t even realize it until a while after the fact, but I seem to have an ability to identify patterns pretty easily. So, what do I mean?
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately among my fellow 20-somethings. I’m sure this has been going on forever and I’m sure it isn’t limited to a particular demographic. Nevertheless, this is what I’ve seen from my perspective.
I’ve already talked about the Millennial generation being one of dreamers. This isn’t an inherently bad thing, but when we don’t have the guts to follow through, empty dreams can be pretty damaging. So, here we are. Young people with the world at our reach, filled with hopeful ideas of a future our minds have crafted. When that world doesn’t align with the world outside of our minds, we tend to collapse inward like some sort of black hole. I’m not talking super depressy black hole, but you get the analogy (if you know anything about astronomy). What results is a) people moving on (even if the dream is not completely out of reach) or b) people living within a sort of bubble, still pretending that these things are going to happen (even if we don’t try to make them a reality). If A occurs, people are usually better off. They have a healthy impulse to keep on moving forward. If B occurs, however, people can (I’m not saying always) take that energy that is replicating exponentially and use it to dig out of the black hole or they can keep it inside.
So, let’s take the latter of part option B. It is the brain’s natural impulse to divert blame away from ourselves. It is how we justify our actions to our consciences. That is why we are so apt to defend ourselves without thinking–it is a natural cousin to physical defense. So, when our lives aren’t panning out the way we think they should have (or the way others think they should have), we tend to look for a way to explain why things aren’t happening, if we are the defensive type. What I’ve noticed is that people in this stage tend to create crises for themselves. They may not even realize it at first, or maybe they even forget that they created it in the first place. So, then they can blame their inaction on the crises or problem they have created for themselves. No longer is it their fault that they didn’t do anything with themselves after college. Maybe it is the “problem’s fault.”
The rub is, however, that people from the outside don’t always see it that way. It is so easy to convince ourselves of things when it is in the best interest of our ego. But our egos often have ways of outing us for who we really are, too.
People who create crises for themselves subconsciously create a wall, mentally and emotionally blocking out the thought that they never really had what it took to pursue their dreams–that maybe they were never that good in the first place. They can then hold onto the idea “I could have, if only…” Rejection is a nasty thing. Few people deal with it well. Sometimes it feels better to be a “coulda been” instead of a “never woulda been.” At the same time, you never know until you try. You never do. Unless you are 4′ tall and want to be a NBA player, you never really know.
So, all of this is to “out” every young person that is victimizing themselves with their own, self-imposed crisis. You aren’t hiding behind that thing that seems to pacify the unfulfilled passion you have inside you. Let this be encouraging in knowing that hiding behind whatever “wall” you have created–whatever maladaptive behavior or state of mind it may be–does not create the illusion you think it does. It doesn’t create pity. It doesn’t create excuses. It doesn’t take the ball out of your court for you. It only makes you have to do 10 times more catch up work later on when you decide to snap out of it. Because most people will snap out of it eventually.
I’m no psychologist. I’m no self-help expert. I’m still figuring out myself, for goodness sake. But, I can get all blog mommy on you and say “Snap out of it!”
Until next time….