Why We Shouldn't Constantly Worry About Impressing

By Annie Jay

I am not sure who you are, where you are in the world, whether you prefer chocolate to vanilla or if you have a birthmark in the shape of a slice of Wonder Bread on your left calf.

Now, this is the part where I am supposed to ask you questions and compare my life to yours as I hang onto every word of your mostly embellished life, recounted through some cute Instagram-filtered photos. No thanks.

This isn’t to say that you aren’t fabulous — maybe you really do have a Wonder-Bread-slice-shaped birthmark on your left calf. It’s just that I can’t be me if I am so caught up in who you are, what you’re wearing or the location and shape of various pigmentations on your body.

In the age of instant gratification, it becomes easy to get discouraged — in choosing the wrong major in college, in identifying that you're not passionate about your career after you’ve already dedicated two years to a job or in breaking up with “the one,” who apparently wasn’t “the one” at all.

Maybe it’s just being constantly surrounded with people who seem to have perfect lives, but really, they’re just skilled at choosing the best Instagram filters.

Ultimately, the disparity between what we think and what really is creates an environment in which our actions and words have nothing in common with who we truly are. Essentially, it allows others to lead you rather than you choosing to lead.

Generation Y is far too innovative and prodigious to be acting like a herd of submissive sheep, aimlessly navigating through the proverbial pasture of life.

We abide by the notion that we should do as others before us have done because we consider life to be a giant checklist. Get a good job. Check. Find someone to marry. Check. Own nice things. Check.

We do all these things and make all of this noise, but are we really doing anything to channel ourselves? Or is it all just for others to marvel at the façades we build?

Now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to define ourselves in any way we desire, yet, we are more than satisfied with wearing the same metaphorical shoes as the person next to us because it seems like what we should be doing.

It is not a bad thing to share life desires with someone else but it is, however, soul crippling to deliberately create a carbon copy of your life to mirror the beliefs and actions of someone else out of fear for venturing away from the status quo.

Carve out a space within your soul to identify what makes you tick. Define the nouns and adjectives that surround your hopes, dreams and aspirations.

What does the good in “get a good job” mean to you? Who does the someone in “find someone to marry” look like? What qualities do they emulate? Being anything other than yourself is utterly boring — the person who is living the life you are attempting to copy has already done it.

The core of whichever path you choose to pursue in life should be selfishly, satisfyingly and entirely about finding and defining you.

 Top Photo Courtesy: RKOI