At 23 I have already perfected the art of settling. I have a good job, good friends, money in the bank and food in the cupboard. I have some stuff I don’t need and almost all the things I do.
From the outside looking in some might be jealous, some would criticize my apparent lack of gratitude, and others would chose not to care. From the outside looking in you would assume I’m happy – and I should be – but I’m not.
Well, Im quickly realizing that the problem with having a good job at 23 is that both ourselves and the world assume that we should be grateful. But if you know you deserve more out of life a good job can feel a lot more like a bad boyfriend (partner). Where you know the relationship is toxic but you’re grateful for the opportunity to be valued and loved. And isn’t that exactly what settling is? Being grateful but knowing that something isn’t right?
At this point in my life I can’t say I pushed for many of the opportunities that have come my way. And it isn’t that I haven’t worked hard on this that or the other, but at the same time 9/10 times I didn’t ask to end up where I am – I just shrugged and said yes. And until recently I’ve come to think that this was normal. That, this is how we adult, this is how we grow up. But it’s not is it?
To break it down: a post grad perspective of what I assumed life after college and grad school was supposed to look like…
We find a job, count ourselves lucky, take it graciously, settle in to daily routines and then, like an arranged marriage we expect and hope that we will fall in love with what we do. (This situation more often applies to people who don’t know exactly what they want to do out of school or don’t end up working somewhere like Disney or Google or Pinterest or what have you) And for a lot of people, or at least the ones I follow, the jobs they have found after graduating have seemed to click. These people for whatever reason seem (externally at least) happy. And of course, maybe this isn’t true or maybe it is – but on behalf of those who are struggling to love what we do and those looking at their job like a relationship they’ve settled into – I don’t think that this is what life is meant to be about.
So yeah, at 23 I’ve all but perfected the art of settling – or at least it feels that way. And for a lot of things and a lot of reasons I should be grateful and I should count myself lucky. But I guess the problem with that is that when you know you deserve better and when you know you can be so much more – the post grad gratefuls can feel a lot more like post grad grumpies and for me, that’s not something I ever dreamed of doing.