Seriously, you can be a happy 20-something. Every which way I turn I’m reminded that I have a mass amount of college debt, the corporate job world is screwing me over, that I shouldn’t get my hopes up when it comes to love at this age because there are a multitude of “the ones,” and that I need to travel and explore because it won’t be satisfying if I wait till I get older. But most of all, I’m reminded that the only way to live like a twenty-something is to be a lost soul in this big, big world.
News stations, economic professors, psychological therapists, and anyone who microscopically studies twenty-somethings have made it clear … twenty somethings are f*cked. These studies and opinions, ironically, don’t really do much but stress me out more and put me in a state of constant worry. I’m uneasy. Basically, these reminders and studies have made it so that the pressure to be unhappy is greater than our pressure to be happy.
This propaganda can be unbearable and I’m asking for it to stop. Please. Stop. It’s headed to a point where I need to tune everything out for me to live a normal life. I’m going so far to say that the pressure to be unhappy is psychologically scarring.
It’s true, many twenty-somethings, myself included, are in a constant place searching for the meaning in our lives. But, we can definitely do this without having a frown on our faces.
Yes, it can be stressful looking for the right job.
Yes, it can be stressful to hold a relationship or find the right person for you.
Yes, it can be stressful to find enough money and time to travel to a distant country.
Yes, it can be stressful trying to understand what the hell is going on in the world.
Yes, it can be stressful to figure out what makes us, us.
But stress doesn’t and shouldn’t be correlated to unhappiness, as it’s more of an emotion that helps us grow. If we used this premise on how we view stress as the structure that it is only an emotion to help us find a way out of obstacles, then I think there would be more people out there willing to mentor us than just advise or academically critique our every move.
If you allow us to be happy then I’m sure we’ll be able to spread this happiness not only to our own peer groups, but also to the ones who are even younger. Happiness breeds happiness. Positivity breeds positivity.
Dealing With Struggles
I’m not going to lie when I say that I don’t struggle when it comes to finding my own happiness in life. I have my own disappointments and my own psychological issues that can and have torn me apart emotionally – but I’m learning that struggle, turmoil, and searching for my self-actualization is just a part of life, so I move forward (try to).
How have I been able to do this? Well, for the past few months, I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by a group of peers who have pushed and helped me move forward in a better state. Basically, it’s because of others that I’ve been able to live a “happier” life.
To further clarify: I believe the ability to be surrounded by a group of peers to help lift us up happens when external forces ingrain such doctrine into our heads. Therefore, if we’re just given a chance to be happy and given the opportunity to remind us that there is indeed hope – then our lives would be a little bit easier to handle.
According to the CEO of Zappos and author of Delivering Happiness, Tony Hshei, happy people are more productive, more efficient, more effective, more innovative, and more creative. I think these are all traits and very high positives that can change the world we live in to a better, constructive, and cohesive planet.
Listen, I’m not saying that I want to live or that we’re ever going to be in an ebullient world of rainbows and butterflies: “la-la-utopian-land” (There will always be the stresses and destructive plots that can make our own world seem like an unhappy place. It’s inevitable). What I am saying is that we shouldn’t allow anyone or anything define our generation as the unhappy generation. Ignore the brainwashing because believe it or not, we’re not f*cked.
We got this.