I was recently visiting NYC and took the opportunity to visit old friends and catch up on where they are in life. As most good conversations tend to do, our topic of discussion moved from ourselves to those acquaintances who we hardly ever see anymore. What was interesting to me was that our conversation did not center on how we had grown apart from these people, but rather, that these people never “grew up.”
The idea of “living for the weekend” is nothing new. What many refer to as “youth culture,” is a history of people being unable to reconcile their day-to-day lives with their social lives. Ultimately, they find solace in the party antics of a Saturday night rather than careers, kids or whatever. We have all been guilty of doing stupid stuff. When we were younger, giving in to the idiot urges that arrive on a Friday night was recognized as a phase that young people went through. This was an existential pubescence that would be rinsed out of our systems.
However, hangovers are starting to last days rather than hours, and ultimately, it feels like people today are forgetting to do the moving on part.
But what causes this? Is the current generation continually drug-taking, shame-walking, and shit-talking before finally becoming their parents? I did some research, and it seems that “Boundless Indulgence” is a decades-old problem. Some researchers have gone as far as to say that it is an inescapable part of the late-capitalist condition; a symptom of the endless, warless, nothingness of modern life. How dreary is that?
Someone explained the current generation to me as “the generation with no real incentive to grow up. No kids to feel guilty about, just jobs that let them scrape the money they need to feed, house and wash themselves.” So how does someone decide to move on? The choice that many make is to simply go to the next level.
Eventually we must wake up and realize that there is more than what we currently have. We realize that we don’t like the job that is simply paying out bills, and that we know we can achieve more. We realize that our parents were right when they told us nothing good ever happens after midnight. In time, we learn that mornings are wonderful, life without booze can be fun, and that being authentic is what matters. We change perspective from being solely focused on ourselves and start thinking more about our family and friends. We grow up.
So what do you need to do to grow up? Is there something that you are holding on to hoping it will make you happy? If so, it’s time to step away. Growing up is scary. It’s something new that you may not be familiar with. That is ok. View moving forward as a chance to see what else life has to offer. There is more out there than the teenage life. Come on. Grow up and live a little.