I am part of Generation Y, a generation that is said to believe they are 1. better than everyone else, 2. entitled to have whatever they want, and 3. in a competition with everyone around them. All of that is 110% true. Just like you (assuming you are also part of Generation Y, since you are reading a twentysomething’s website), I am delusional. I think I’m special and I am just NOT happy with the way my post-college life is going. I should be making more money. I should be doing something I love. I should be getting praised for everything I do. People should be jealous of me. It’s like where’s my fucking crown at?
In an article posted by Wait But Why, the author explains why Gen Y Yuppies (which this person calls GYPSYs – Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies) — LIKE ME — are unhappy. They say I’m not happy because “Happiness = Reality – Expectations.” Clearly my expectations are higher than reality, so if you do the math I come out with negative happiness. They say I have those expectations because I’m too ambitious. I don’t want to just make billions of dollars, create a television show, and write a couple books. I want to write the world’s BEST TV show, publish the world’s BEST book, and make a certain amount of money that people didn’t even know existed. And let me tell you — I won’t settle.
They say I’m this way because unlike my parents, I was raised in a family that had money. I had parents that had said money due to a boom in economy. And because of this boom in the economy, being successful was the norm. And I was taught that I had to reach for above the norm — above the stars (or I would land behind the moon, or whatever load of crap that stupid saying was). I believed this because I was told I was unique. I was special.
Not only did I believe that, but I eventually believed that I deserved said things more than anyone else. It started when I was little with a trophy for each of my dance recitals. I got rewarded by participating in something that my parents were spending hundreds of dollars to take me to every week. I didn’t have to be named the ‘best’ or do anything out of the ordinary. I got a trophy. And what do trophies really mean? They mean — you’re special! It continued through middle school and high school, when everyone started having graduation parties for themselves. But wait — didn’t we ALL just graduate? What makes the fact you just graduated better than the fact that someone else did too? NOTHING. We were just honored and bowed down to for every little thing we did by DEFAULT.
This continued for a while, and by the time I graduated from college I was waiting for the next session of people to bow down to me and tell me how AWESOME I was… but that never happened. So I got pissed. Why did no one want to hire me? Why were some people getting opportunities that I wasn’t? Why were some people making more than me? Why did everyone on Facebook look like they were having so much more fun than me? Why did everyone look like they had so much more money than me? I was the special one. I am the special one. Or… so I think.
But, like, how am I not supposed to think that? These days, thanks to the Internet and shitty reality TV, anyone can become successful. Like anyone. You have Snooki and crew who became famous for being morons. You have Kim Kardashian and klan (see how I did that there?) who became household names for being rich. You have Justin fucking Bieber who became a gazillionaire from a YOUTUBE video. And then you have the people who get lucky because they create tumblrs and blogs that somehow go viral and suddenly they’re getting book deals and enough ads to quit their jobs and go pro. Like, I write a blog… don’t you all know who I am? Aren’t I just as special?
This — the media — has made us believe that we are all individually special. And we are all individually better than one another. And we all deserve more than what we have. I know people who are making a decent amount of money at age 24/25, but believe they should be making near 6 figures because other people are and, as I said earlier, they are special (or so they think). I know people who believe they are above their jobs, when they certainly aren’t, and think they should be higher up even though they’ve only been out of college for three or four years. Yes — some people rise above and climb the career ladder faster than others, but that’s usually based on luck and being in the right place at the right time. Some people have connections. And some people are just in completely different fields from one another meaning that some make more than others earlier rather than later. Does that mean you’ll be scraping by paycheck to paycheck for the rest of your life while so-and-so keeps making bank? NO. You’ll probably catch up to one another. But not if you keep wasting time complaining about it.
If the media (social media, news, tv series, etc) didn’t put all these thoughts, theories, and ideas in my head, perhaps I would be happy. Perhaps I would be content with my job and I wouldn’t be comparing it to the jobs of other people. Perhaps I would be content with the way I spend my time outside of work, rather than wishing I had so-and-so’s life because they look like they’re having a lot of fun on Facebook. One thing that I can’t help is the lack of money I have and I am pretty sure that contributes to 95% of my unhappiness. Like, I barely get by. And I can’t make cool opportunities happen because I can’t just move across the country or manage this website fulltime. But hey, I’m working at it. Instead of complaining about how I deserve more, I’m working to get more. And eventually I’ll get it because… I’m special.