Why Generation-Y Has To Stop Worrying About Living And Find Peace With Staying Home

Our perceptions of time often change as we grow older. Our horizons stretch further into the distance, pushing our immediate reality deeper into the future. Our concerns revolve less around the next two weeks and more around the next 20 years.

Just five years can shift your thoughts from “who will take me to prom?” to “who will I marry?” Or  “where will I go to college?” to “where will I live?” Or “what posters should I hang in my room?” to  “does this house have hardwood floors?”

When we widen the time lens through which we view our lives, the image of life’s arc deepens. Sometimes the subtle motions of our lives seem to expand and grow and morph into something vast and grand — even monstrous.

Sometimes, our daily tasks assume monumental significance, for no reason beyond coping with an evermore-burdensome reality at every moment; as we develop, we take on new responsibilities, ideas and identities, and sometimes the accumulations of time stick to us like barnacles. Sometimes our lives feel as if they are slipping by too quickly — sometimes, they are — and sometimes we wonder if we will ever catch up on life, before it takes off again, disappearing into an unseen wilderness into which we are bound to follow.

And that’s when the asphyxiation sets in. That’s when the throbbing ambition turns upon itself, and we wonder if we will ever get it right. That’s when we doubt everything we have ever done and will ever do, and we silently curse ourselves for reaching out into the grand vortex of the world at all. How do we respond to our swelling lives? How do we reconcile our pursuits, our distinct and hard-won dreams, with the sense of security that we simultaneously shun and crave? Is there a way to quiet such a wild world, even just briefly?

To those who have ever felt anything like this — feeling dwarfed within the limitless universe, lost and floating like Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”— work to stop. Cancel your plans. Put on some music, and relax.

Because, sometimes we need to relax, which may seem easy, but any modern 20-something is painfully aware how difficult it really is. Aren’t we supposed to be productive? Aren’t we supposed to stop watching television and go outside? Aren’t we supposed to reach our potential and stay up all night so we don’t miss a beat?

This is a problematic mindset that’s slowly eating away at our generation. It’s a disease, the ceaseless “GO-GO-GO,” constantly infiltrating our thoughts. For some reason, we think that our resumes not only outline our lives, but actually define them. But since when did a piece of paper govern us, and when did it become taboo not to be busy?

Let’s take a break sometimes — let’s find home. There is something so peaceful and so quietly sublime about the tender turn of a gentle evening, about the rich pastures of a beloved home.

So what is a “home”? I suppose a home is neither a place nor a structure, but the warm kernel of comfort we find when we are most seeking. Home can be anything — a friendly face, a lover’s arms or an unexpected and much-needed photograph of a long-forgotten past. When the world gets big, we can always find home to steady us within it. After all, there’s no place like home.

Photo credit: Bueller's Day Off