I’m at that stage of life when I realise that I’m actually not that special. I’m just a regular post-graduate student – a lot have come before me and a lot will be coming after me.
I haven’t done anything monumental. I wake up at 9am and have my coffee, then proceed to either work on my thesis or work on something else. I cook food twice a week that will last me through the weekdays, and on the weekends I go on normal dates with my boyfriend.
So here’s the question: What now?
My close friend and I had this conversation earlier this week. We both felt like we haven’t achieved something. I told her that I constantly worry about my career in the future, about whether I’ll actually make it in life. I feel like I haven’t had any achievement lately, and it sucks my soul.
She told me, ‘Well, it is easier to achieve things when you were young.’
She’s right. In high school, I felt like I’ve achieved a lot because it was easier to achieve something. All you need to do was study hard and you’d get the grades. Life achievements were measured in how many As you get. Oh, such a life.
So I admitted to her, ‘I guess I’m not used to just be mediocre.’
Since young, my ego was boosted in the things I could achieve. And yes, I was an achiever. Plus, there’s a direct correlation between your grades, your level of intellect and your success later in life. Or at least, that was what everyone told me.
And now, when you realise that everyone’s smart, your achievements look like something that happened in another lifetime.
In the movie The Incredibles, the bad guy, Buddy, once wanted to sell advanced tech stuffs that would enable everyone to have ‘super powers’. Then he said, ‘And when everyone’s super, no one is.’
That’s what I’m feeling right now.
Life starts to slow down, and it doesn’t go on a linear pattern anymore. Once, you know that after grade 9 there would grade 10, and after grade 11 there would be grade 12. But now? You have so many options. You can do further studies. You can work. You can take a gap year. You can do exchange. You can work at what you love and probably get little money, or you can get the high-paying job that sucks the life out of you. You can choose to whether to get married now or later.
There is no definite textbook definition on when to ‘graduate’ from one developmental stage to the next. And sometimes, you feel lost.
Of course this feeling also stems from the need to constantly achieve something. I’ve always said that I want to embrace living the good, mediocre life. But it’s always easier said than done.
Photo by meg, Creative Commons