On Being Burnt Out

I started this blog as a writing practice, to motivate me to write and to keep track of changes I wanted to make in my life but I would be lying if I said that I don’t sometimes dream of being a successful blogger or instagrammer. After all, it’s possible, the internet is full of success stories, right? Right?

Stevie, Ireland

I look at the older millennials (late 20’s to early 30’s) around me and we’re all in the same boat, more or less. We don’t know quite  how to navigate the world. Being academic minded I did well in high school and knew I was going to go to University as, I thought, all of my friends would. For as long as I could remember I wanted to study film but after my first year in University I discovered I hated film. Several of my friends and peers got married right out of a highschool and I ended up in University alone and very lost and lonely. After two years I dropped out and went travelling instead. Eventually I went back, changed my major to English and graduated much later than I anticipated. In the mean time I worked and travelled, learned another language and danced many nights away.

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I’m not unhappy with my 20’s but I still feel in some ways as if I’ve been duped and I don’t think I’m the only one. Many of my peers are unsettled and trying to find our place in the world. We are underemployed and changing careers isn’t the walk in the park that everyone lead us to believe. The internet would have us believe that we can-and should-make ourselves into a brand, side-hustle our way to wealth, that travelling the world indefinitely is a feasible goal for all of us no matter our income level and that every single moment of lives must be carefully curated so it can go on our social media “stories”. That we can meditate ourselves happy and that we can simply do away with aspects of our lives that we don’t like or that make us unhappy. Most of all, it seems to me, that somehow we are told to live in a way that realistically costs a fortune while shunning the methods that allow us to make an income. Blogs promote  courses and webinars to improve our lives that cost several hundreds of dollars. Travel everywhere no matter the cost, many a Instagram posts preach. Don’t get stuck in a 9-5 job blogs and pins shout. Sell this product at ridiculous mark up to your friends on Facebook or start a GoFundMe for your holidays or concert tickets.  I’m not here to rant about those things (more than I’ve already done) right now as I’ve done that before. Nor do I want to criticise any one of these things individually, I like Instagram, travel and meditation but I think they are working together to create a stressful environment for all of us and showing us something that is unattainable for the large majority of us. I’m not here to offer advice on how to deal with the pressure but if you can’t afford to go somewhere glamorous every weekend, if your Instagram isn’t a perfectly curated tribute to nature or your Scandinavian inspired home, if you don’t constantly throw fabulous parties and if your “side hustle” isn’t working then you aren’t alone. If you’re going into the future and don’t know where your going or how you’re going to get there, you aren’t alone.

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