Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm in a Misanthropic Mood

A few months ago I picked up a copy of Eye Magazine and read a really stupid, presumptuous article about Quarter Life crises that made 20-somethings sound like lazy, spineless, futureless idiots. I hated it, and I haven't picked up an Eye Magazine ever since.

Today, I saw this article reposted in a bog I follow sometimes. Reading it again sucked even more than the first time. It's a presumptuous push on the old idea that what maturity really means is settling down and having kids. According to the quiz at the end of the article, if you are well-adjusted you will watch documentaries about fonts and worry about "the calories in beer and nachos," but if instead you watch Fight Club, apply to graduate programs, and worry about "turning 30 and moving back into your parents' basement," then you should get yourself a shrink. O RLY?

Apparently, the ultimate cause of this is that we think we can be whatever we want, so we get caught up in repetitive cycles of starting something new and then giving up. Boo hoo. So I ask, so fucking what. Who is to say that settling down will make everyone happy? Who is to say that people who travel and job-hop aren't just as (un)satisfied with their lives as the settled-down ones? So apparently research shows that married men are happier. 1) I don't care because I'm not a man, and 2) half of all marriages ends in divorce.

Do these people stop to think that maybe, just maybe, the crisis part of "quarter life" comes from the fact that we still have to deal with the fact that what we really want to do doesn't fit someone's idea of what we are supposed to want, and maybe not all human beings are the same and we don't all want the exact same thing from our lives? Maybe we're in crisis because we're told that this "settling," this "growing up" is the only thing we can possibly want, that this is the best life can offer for us, but we don't believe it, and we don't know what else there is to want because we haven't had the time to figure it out yet. It's just too easy to believe what you're told, Ms. Carraway from Eye magazine. It's too easy to not have to look for a different way of life.

My opinion is that our generation is in fact much more mature than those before us who craved children and marriage at 22. We want to enjoy our lives a little bit without having to wait until we are 65 to do so (if we ever make it that far). We don't care if you don't approve of how we have fun. It's not "self-flagellation," dude. We actually enjoy it. We go to grad school because we feel that undergrad did not teach us as much as we want to learn, NOT to "delay other choices about career and stability." And finally, we want "cool jobs" because we are intelligent enough to realize that filing papers from 9 to 5 and getting 10 days off per year will not bring us happiness like you told us it would.

Stop telling us how to live our lives. It's none of your business.

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