It’s hard out here for a twenty-something.
We get tons of crap for being lazy, entitled, social-media obsessed, you name it. And as a result, many of us feel an immense pressure to rise beyond our stereotype and prove ourselves to the world.
Just being gainfully employed isn’t enough anymore. We, young professionals, need to have the full package – a healthy lifestyle, a stamp-filled passport, an active social media presence, maybe even a side hustle or two. We read stories about the latest tween entrepreneurial sensation and feel washed up before we’ve even really started.
Some might say that social media has a role to play in all of this. After all, while we know our Instagram accounts are more of a highlight reel than anything resembling real life, it’s hard not to see your friends’ lives as a benchmark for where you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be doing in life.
But you know what? F*ck it.
Seriously, just f*ck it.
As writer Bianca Bass so aptly points out, “we spend so much time ticking off our to-do lists, making aspirational Pinterest boards, and thinking about our next big goal, dream or plan. And then we wonder why we burn out.”
The reality is, if you want to be successful, something’s gotta give.
That thing is going to be a little different for everybody. Maybe it means finally acknowledging that you’ll never have a six-pack and just having that damn scoop of ice cream. Or maybe you don’t make it to Thailand this year. Or ever. Be honest with yourself: did you even really want to go?
This is the beauty of the “F*ck-It List.” Once you let go of the expectations we all put on ourselves to have it all, you free up time and mental energy to really focus on what you do want out of life.
Some more things on my Fuck It List:
Driving. Due to a number of reasons, partly procrastination and partly due to the fact that I live in Toronto, I don’t have a driver’s license. I used to beat myself up about it, and to be honest, I still feel a little embarrassed by this fact. But I have come to accept that this is just not a priority for me right now and that’s okay. Shoutout to my Metropass and Uber for having my back.
Not eating carbs. Life is too damn short to not eat the bread basket.
Making every weekend “productive.” Sure, most weekends I do manage to get my ass off the couch to go to a workout class or run some errands. But there are definitely more than a couple Saturdays that you will find me in my apartment binge-watching Netflix and I’m totally okay with that.
It’s a total cliche, but finding balance in your life is so important. As Bass writes, “It’s impossible to be everything for everyone. But if you treat yourself with a little more acceptance and understanding, you’ll find you have so much more to give.”
It seems pretty simple, but in today’s fast-paced world, I think we all need a little reminder that, yes, you can achieve your dreams, but no, you don’t have to do it all at the same time.
Work hard, eat your greens, do your squats, but remember to give yourself a break sometimes, okay?
Originally published in August 2016 for Notable.ca.