I remember joking about this phenomenon with a friend, although I believe that it is a very real psychological effect that occurs within this 21st century era wherein we are enabled with a multitude of choices that have never before been available to humankind: the quarter-life crisis.
As lofty as this sentence sounds, the boiled down result is that human beings are very mobile nowadays, migrating across borders and to urban centers where more opportunities are available — my family and most of my friends are a testament to this. As a result, we are increasingly bombarded with seemingly infinite amounts of stimuli. And the pace of technological, travel, cultural, linguistic, religious and other dimensions are only accelerating in one direction or another. To make sense of all this “bombardment” we rationally must rely on short-cut cues, i.e. more expensive = better quality, educational qualifications = more competent, obese = not in control of one’s life, etc. We are in bodies that are not necessarily made for Twitter, smart phones, 8-screen Bloombergs, and McDonald fast food, but here we are living in a society that thrives on such things. I strive to shy away from generalizations arising from short-cutting through this over saturation of information, although there is certainly always an underlying influence that is simply subconscious and uncontrollable to an extent. But with the present issue at hand regarding large-scale decisions that have potentially monumental impacts on one’s life, a situation that I find myself in now, short-cuts are not necessarily evident…
I have today decided against one possibility among what I hope will be several, which I estimate to be one of the larger decisions I have made regarding future outcome scenarios. Close friends and family will certainly disagree with my reasoning perhaps, but I am convinced that I am acting in the best of my interests. I continue to carry with me the philosophy that we must always be careful not to close any doors and balance the realities with future aspirations.
In life we go through cyclical periods of ups and downs – yet it is important to have an overall positive average. Moreover, the key is not only to navigate the waters and stay buoyant, but to thrive within in an environment. We must spend our limited time and efforts on those we select, those we filter through, because in the end (and what I have found out and am still finding out) we cannot be friends with everybody. I will keep looking at the compass for the time being and give it my best, ending this entry with the following quote:
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th century American poet