November has been a month full of changes and big news that I hope to share soon. I've handled all of it gracefully with a martini in hand and not one ounce of anxiety to go with it. Am I being sarcastic? Yes; that's my coping mechanism. It might sound like I'm not very excited about this upcoming change, but I am. I wasn't at first, but with time, a bit of journal writing, some necessary talks with friends, and this book, I've gotten to a point where I recognize that this change is good.
However, during this coping process I realized that a lot of my feelings of resistance and hesitation teetered on the precipice of what others thought about it. If they thought it was a good idea, it gave the entire journey fodder; if they thought it was a bad one, then I would tip over into regret and despair. Why was it that my experience was constantly in the hands of others? It could be in part a biological survival tactic ("If I act like who you want me to be then you won't shun me from the tribe), but I think it goes a little deeper than that, especially for me.
Call it perpetual adolescence or being a millennial, but I genuinely think it's harder for a lot of people my age who grew up in a middle class family during the immense incline of technology to really "grow up". Having talked to others my age about this, I've heard it manifest itself in their unknown urge to go back to school (after having already completed a BA and equipped to find a job in their field) or a resistance to take on all aspects of adulthood because their parents were always the ones to do certain tasks. Why fix what's not broken, right? And the internet has allowed a lot of us to experience the big, scary world without ever leaving the comfort of our bedrooms.
Having been under the shelter of my parents' umbrella for many years, it's incredibly hard to admit to yourself that it's finally time to create an umbrella of your own, for yourself or your family. I've stepped a few toes out of my parents', but still feel like the downpour is too intense to handle just yet. Because of this, I've noticed that a lot of my decisions and how I feel about them rest in the hands of my parents who - you learn as you get older - also don't know what the right answer is.
When I received verification of my next big step in life, it didn't feel real (or right) until I got the approval and excitement from my parents, as though I expected them to be disappointed and therefore psyched myself out of it to appease them before they even heard the news. I preemptively scolded myself for taking initiative and that left me feeling confused about my motivations. Did I do anything for myself and my own approval? Or were all the decisions I'd made in life for other people?
I'd love to know what you think about this topic and any stories you may have of your own experiences.