What, Me, Worry?
Our parents are terrified. Never has there been a time in history when parents have been more afraid of their children’s’ decisions, and the plethora of options that cripples these well-educated youths.
Parents have always doubted the lucidity of their 20-something children’s decisions: “Backpacking across Europe will teach me about myself and the world, Mom!” “But honey, you have no health insurance! What if you eat bad cheese and need a kidney removed?”
In 2010, though, the stakes seem to be higher. With the R-word (Recession, that thing that I shall not name again as its mention incites fear and desperate nail-biting) in full swing, and jobs that would have hired Average Joe years ago now requiring a MA to even be considered, parents of choicers have a right to say to themselves “My goodness, what challenges! I hope my son/daughter/ ape comes out on top!” Even the occasional, “She’s good at what she does, but yikes! In this (R-word), she has to be amazing, or screw a Senator” is to be expected, and is, to some extent, true (the “amazing” part, that is!)
However, if this natural concern for one’s progeny evolves into sleepless nights and increased Xanax prescriptions, which we kids hear about, it’s stressful. Fear is a contagion, and even the most well meaning parents are subject to spreading it, as it has been spread to them by the news, their friends, and a quick, logical look around.
So what do we do when Mom/ Dad/ Uncle Fred-who-never really-cared-before-but-suddenly-has-an-opinion steps in with a loving two cents?
Of course, we choicers have a million options! But really only two. We can buy into the fear: “You’re right Mom/ Dad/ Uncle Fred, I’m kinda f***ed! Now I’m worried and confused!” This is perfectly normal, but can only end in defeat. We are beaten by our own nerves and sell ourselves short in work, love, and everyday enjoyment.
On the other hand, we can work through the fear to something better: “You’re right Mom/ Dad/ Uncle Fred, I’m totally f***ed! I guess now I can really let loose and see what I’m made of!”
After growing up in classrooms where we’re all special, it’s time to find out if that’s really true. Everyone has worth, value, and is loved in this Universe, but who succeeds? That’s up to the individual. So the next time a relative follows up a comment on the R-word with “It’s so hard out there for you young people,” say “Heck yeah it is! And when I make it, I’ll know I’m for real!”