Mike’s Balloons, Morgan Alan
There’s nothing wrong with using others as your motivation to succeed. As I continue trudging through the second decade of my life, I realize that these individuals often come in the form of lackadaisical peers who doddle through their early twenties in a nostalgic effort to relive their former glory.
At a recent gathering of my high school peers, Mike’s Hard Lemonade in hand à la 2004, I observed what I saw as a former life of mine, and it was a life I barely recognized. Numerous friends had moved back home, completed their degrees, or had their applications rejected for post-graduate studies.
“Are you done?” someone asked me. I assumed he meant my degree, but considering the circumstances, I felt like most people in the room were “done” trying to grow up – exemplified by the two girls in the corner playing keep-up with a balloon.
Every sign pointed to resentment towards the fact that I had moved on, traveled, grown up, found a fulfilling full-time job and refused to drive back to my hometown every weekend to go bowling.
I came to the stark realization that those surrounding me were all the motivation I needed to succeed in my twenties.
Building yourself and identifying yourself is a trial and error process, and sometimes to discover who you are you need to discover what you are not. Examining your peers is simply another way of differentiating who you do and do not want to be, and orienting yourself away from what you observe as negative qualities in others.
Sometimes, all one needs is a force that propels them forward towards their goals. Now that my parents were no longer hovering over my high school grades – I silently wondered if those around me printed out their transcripts for theirs – I had found all the accelerant I needed for my own success.
I didn’t want to be stuck in their ruts, and their distain for my workaholic nature and my often nomadic lifestyle only made me more intent on succeeding at work and in my personal life. I wasn’t sorry that I had moved on, and I was even less sorry that they didn’t act like they approved.
Finding confidence and drive in your early adulthood is no easy task. Our twenties are a platform for adulthood and in many ways the few years we spend figuring out our path in life occur during the most tumultuous years of our existence.
In an August article in the New York Times it was reported that nearly half of those in their twenties move back in with their parents, one-third move residence every year, and throughout the decade of their twenties the average individual holds seven jobs.
With all the confusion and never-ending transitioning of life in our early twenties, it’s no wonder some people get left behind.
Those who get stuck in their ruts are all the motivation you need to keep your spirits high and your adrenaline running, if you can find a positive way to examine your relationship with these individuals and move beyond their monotony.
Employ any method you can to push yourself towards your goals. It’s unfortunate that sometimes, in order to achieve a mandate you’ve set for yourself, you have to distance yourself from people that once were your friends. But the dead of nostalgic hangers-on won’t help you succeed in life; it’ll only drag you down. Weight
I do sometimes lament the loss of the friendships my high school years left behind. However, the drama-filled exposés left only a couple of true friends standing strong among a crowd of forgettable, unreliable and negligent friends.
However, keep a handful of them – the ones that inspire you. The rest can fall by the wayside as a constant reminder to orient yourself towards your goals and a brighter future.