We are the ‘millennial’ generation. We are the ones who aren’t supposed to have our lives together. The ones milling about, jobless and purposeless. We’re not supposed to know who we are yet. We’re not supposed to have the best job, the most wonderful life, the happy smile plastered across our face. And we’re told this in article after article, from thousands of lips, in every twenty-something advice column: You’re okay. You’re not supposed to have it all figured out.
But what if you do?
What if you feel comfortable and confident in your own skin? What if you know what you want and are ready to take those steps forward? What if you’ve worked your a$$ off to get where you are right now and you’re damn well proud?
We are so willing to accept confusion and uncertainty. We’re encouraged to experiment, to try new things, to not have the answers. We’re told that it’s okay to be broke, to be tired, to be scared, to be in a place we never imagined ourselves to be.
And maybe in a lot of ways that’s right—not everyone’s story is exactly the same. And we’re not all going to jump on the path to success or make all the right decisions or have lives that shine in the sun.
But what about praising people who fought like hell to get to where they are? What about acknowledging the ones that do know what they want? The ones who pursued their passions, followed their dreams, took the job that inspired them or went after the thing everyone doubted?
What about focusing on all the ways we are productive society members, hard workers, passionate, driven individuals with good lives? What about raising the bar, raising expectations, and not just being the ‘confused millennial,’ but the one who is on the right track?
There are so many positive, self-help pieces written about not knowing who you are or what you want—and this is good, don’t get me wrong. It encourages people who feel lost. It gives a voice to our inner struggles. It reminds us that we don’t have to have a perfect life to be happy.
But there’s something to be said for knowing what you want and going after it. And in today’s world, you don’t have to be ashamed for being one of those people.
You don’t have to feel bad that you stepped into a career right after college or got married young. You don’t have to bury the fact that you knew you wanted to be a doctor since you were three, and now you’re in graduate school, kicking butt in all of your classes.
You don’t have to feel bad that you’re one of the people with a job, with a house, with a plan—just as it’s okay to not know, it’s okay to know, too.
So don’t ever feel like you need to hide your success, your passion, your excitement for the world and your future.
Being a millennial, a post-grad, a twenty-something doesn’t mean you need to be in this bubble of confusion and stress. You can label yourself. You can be who you want to be. And you can be proud.
So chase what you believe in, pursue that passion, that career, that person without holding back. There’s nothing wrong with being someone who knows what you want. Remember that.