Skip to main content

The Fears that Define My Generation

In the past two days, I've had two conversations about young men who seem to hold onto passivity and indecision as long as they possibly can. One of these conversations was with a peer and was about dating. The other was with a mother of a newly-adult-but-still-teenage son. In these dialogues, I proposed two fears that entangle my peers and I, and I would like to hear your thoughts on them.

(Now, as I move from the described context into two generalizations about my generation - and subsequent generations - please note that I am not speaking only of a particular gender. Although I do at times grumble about seeing this in my male counterparts, we women are just as prone...)

1. Fear of failure. Of course, everyone is afraid of failure. But many in my generation have been raised without exposure to failure at all. We don't know how to recover from a mistake or a disaster or anything that is difficult. We haven't been equipped with the social or psychological tools to work through unpleasantry, stress, and inadequacy. All of which are inevitable in our lives. So what do we do? We avoid risk at all costs. We do what is easiest, pursue passivity and let things happen to us, rather than attempting something that may not have the desired results.

2. Fear of missing out. Another belief that has been instilled in my peers and I is that we can do anything and be anyone and have everything. In families and in pop culture, we have been sold this lie. Now, we do have more privilege and opportunity than nearly any other generation before us, but we are not gods. And in our quest for the best of everything, we hesitate to commit to many of the good things. Because what if...what if something (or someone) better is just around the corner? The relationships we have will never look like those on TV, nor will our wardrobes (interesting & skimmable, pardon the profanity), but we all hope that maybe somehow they kind of will.


What are your thoughts, friends? Do you think these are true insights? Do you see these in your own lives?

Of course, the next question for me is, How are these true in my life? Are there ways I am living out of fear, avoiding failure or hesitating to commit for no concrete reason? Am I expecting easy paths that do not exist?

I haven't finished answering these yet, but I think there might be some decisions to make and personal ownership it's time for me to take. I'll keep you posted.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

5 Rules for Being a (North) American Adult or No One Wants You to Love Yourself

5 Rules for Being a (North) American Adult
(paraphrased from a lecture by Anne Lamott, whose priest friend shared them with her many years ago)

1. Have it all together. 2. If you don't have it all together, fix whatever is broken in you so that you do have it all together. 3. If you can't fix whatever's broken, pretend that you have. 4. If you can't pretend to be fixed, don't show up - it's a bit embarrassing to the rest of us. 5. If you do decide to show up broken, at least have the decency to be ashamed of yourself.
--
We are encultured towards self-loathing and self-avoidance. 
Be perfect. Do it all, do it right.  If you can't be better, pretend you are. Don't look any deeper. Keep busy. Keep your chin up. Keep up appearances.
It takes so much energy. It takes too much energy.
--
What would happen if I just loved myself? is the question I have been asking since my last post.
It's the question I hear when I see photos of lovely fat ladies who refuse…

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.

--

8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"

--

Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…