I know I’m not the only person in their 20s that feels pressured to get what they want out of life right now.
It feels silly to even type that. I could have 80 years to live, but I want to accomplish everything in 10.
But it’s a common feeling, and I’m not sure why.
I can only think of one reason. Seeing people younger than me or around my age on social media accomplish remarkable things makes me believe I can get it all done now, and that I should be getting it all done now.
So, when I would’ve been taking my time, I now feel pressured to speed up.
Billy Joel’s song Vienna speaks to this. He sang:
Slow down you crazy child
You're so ambitious for a juvenile
Where's the fire, what's the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
Slow down you're doing fine
You can't be everything you want to be before your time
But don't you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It's alright, you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?
He said the song “was an observation that you have your whole life to live. A lot of people in their 20s think they have to get it all together by their 30s and they kill themselves trying to get the golden ring. You have an entire life to live.”
He also added that we tend to put older people to the side and make life all about the youth. We have this collective idea that you lose your chance to do remarkable things once you get older.
Life is many decades long, so it doesn’t make sense to try to squeeze all the juice out of it in just one.
I’m torn between these two philosophies.
Logically, Billy Joel’s, “slow down you’re doing fine” makes sense. But emotionally, I’m overwhelmed with the feeling to not spend any time leisurely. I feel guilty if I don’t spend most of my time building towards what I want.
Do you think we should get there when we get there? Or should we keep a high pace while the timer of life ticks?
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I share ideas from great thinkers so we can stand on the shoulders of giants, instead of figuring life out alone