Lessons in Love

Health, Psychology

People are selfish creatures by nature, and their selfishness harms those around them. Within every human relationship, there is some type of power dynamic. Parent and child. Older and younger sibling. Good and new friends. In all these scenarios, the balance for dominance is ever teetering.  The thing that holds it together is love.

Love is shown in various forms and levels. Love, or the hope there for it, keeps you going every day. You love your spouse, your parents, your children, you pets, your job, your friends, and sometimes, you love yourself. Your vision and ideas of love came from your upbringing and will forever follow you, infecting every relationship you have. Your love doesn’t let you see past this.

Wise trust assesses the probability of betrayal, in recognition that we are all frail creatures capable of betrayal in weaker moments. Realistically, it’s possible that any of us could betray a loved one. Blind trust denies this darker characteristic of human nature; suspiciousness exaggerates it. Wise trust is an assessment that the probability of betrayal is low.

Trust and Betrayal by Steven Stosny, Ph.D.

You grow up and find out the real world is something you were never prepared for. Everything’s hard and conspiring against you. Just when you pick yourself up, something knocks you down again. It’s easy to give up and satisfy your mind with meaningless activities and redundancy. You find the only constant in your life is your family, and your love for them.

If this love betrays you, you find yourself believing somehow, it’s your fault, as if you can control the actions of another. No matter how many times you say it doesn’t matter, it does. Memories of good times and adventures flood your rationalization. It must be something you’ve done, because why else would someone you trusted break that trust?

Not everyone in your life is who you wanted them to be. Your parent might not be the parent you’ve always wanted. Your siblings might not reciprocate the same concern you have for them. Your friends might only care when it’s convenient for them to do so. People are selfish because it’s safe. It’s safe to look out for just yourself since caring for others leaves you vulnerable and that vulnerability can be misused.

People with negative developmental experiences involving intimate relationships may opt to avoid closeness and isolate themselves. […] But healthy relationships with other people are crucial for personal development, presenting opportunities for growth and change.

6 Ways That a Rough Childhood Can Affect Adult Relationships by
Grant Hilary Brenner MD, FAPA

Love changes people, for better and worse. It’s a tough journey to let go of those you love who may be a negative aspect in your life. Everyone has a someone whose hurt them so deeply that barriers form. You can’t believe that not everyone is out to get you because the ones you did give your heart to, took advantage of it.

You forget that not everyone’s like that. You forget that you’re worthy of unconditional love, and that some of love you were raised with had strings attached. There are good souls out there, in a sea of many. It’s scary, but if you give them the chance, they can show you a love you’ve never known.

Adulthood and the Death of Youth

Epistemology

Coming of age is a staple theme in the modern day of storytelling. Everyone has a story from back in the day, and it’s commonly portrayed in literature and TV. Something that universally unites us as humans is witnessing our life change overnight and facing the price of freedom known as responsibility.

Once upon a time, we all had a dream. When someone asked us as a child what we wanted to be, we said and array of things: doctor, vet, pilot, fireman, actor, musician, etc. For many, getting older meant letting go of said dreams and facing reality. When do we become adults? Is it when we’re financially stable, married, have children, or all of the above?

[According to new research by CBS’ TV ratings guru David Poltrack and Nielsen Catalina Solutions], 30 happens to be the age at which millennials tend to self-identify as adults.

Millennials Don’t Consider Themselves Adults Until 30, Researcher Says byTony Maglio 

Way back when, boys and girls were considered adults at the age of twelve and thirteen. If you’ve read or seen The Lord of the Rings, the fantasy race of Hobbits reach adulthood at the age of 33. Who knew J.R.R. Tolkien could foresee where human development was headed?

But, it is the millenial parents who have convinced us that we aren’t adults. From financial support to constant approval, the Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are constantly involved in their children’s adult lives.

We all have or have known a parent who had a hand in their child’s homework, always cleaned up after them, took care of situations for them, or constantly reminded them of things they were capable of handling on their own. In these parents’ eyes, they were and still are doing what’s best for their children. What suffers is the child’s on confidence in handling themselves as an adult.

As a result of not being babied or supervised themselves as children, as well as cultural shifts in parenting norms through the progression of technology, these generations overcompensated in their involvement with their Millennial children.

How Baby Boomer Parents Molded the Millennial Generation by Ilana Bodker

At 25, there are other young adults I know who don’t know how to do taxes, how to change a tire, cut the grass, or even use the right settings on the laundry machine. Instead of figuring this stuff out on our own, the first thing we do is call our parents and ask for help. These are the same parents who lecture us about how we need to “grow up.”

For me, adulthood is being financially and emotionally independent. Even with your parents, taking someone else’s money comes with a price. Letting go of the emotional reliance we have with our parents from birth is the only way to develop a relationship and family of your own.

Being young is liberating and fun in it’s own way, but it isn’t truly free. Getting stuck between adulthood and adolescence is stressful, and takes a toll on our mental health. I used to be scared of being an adult and controlling my own outcome, because I’d probably mess it up. It’s nothing to be scared of, adults fail all the time going after their dream. Adults make mistakes they have to fix. Adults figure it out on their own. We all have the same ability to take control of our own life.

Comparing Life Courses with Millennials

Social

In the world of modern-day America, Millennials often find their measurement of success based on what others portray. From friend groups and social media, there is always someone the same age who appears to have a better life. Even with a Bachelor’s degree, finding a job that justifies four years of work seems impossible. Next thing you know, you’re back at home hearing about how the children of your parent’s friends are making $80k-100k a year while you struggle to find something for $30k.

Zillow analysis finds 22.5 percent of Millennials are living at home with their moms or both parents.

Press Release: Share of Millennials Living with Mom on the Rise” May 10, 2018

The idea of continuing education after high school used to be studying a field of interest. Now, it’s all about vocation, if you’re not getting a degree to get a job, then you’re wasting time. Somewhere, there’s a minority of students who actually find success in majors such as Art, English, Music, Philosophy, etc. The rest of us, however, are moving from job to job, testing out different careers, trying to earn a respectable living. But, we’re still working!

It’s frustrating, not doing what you’ve always dreamed of because “you have to make money.” Then money becomes all you think about since it’ll bring happiness. Is it really all about money? Indeed, I’ve seen people who make an immense amount doing something they love, yet it seems more like an anomaly than reality.

Constantly, I forget that what people tell you, what they portray on to the world, is only the best parts. People talk about how great their children are, how much money they’re making, boasting themselves to make others feel inferior. The worst part is that it works and it never goes away. As individuals in the same society, we have the insatiable need to validate ourselves to others, making us feel superior.

About 21 percent of Millennials report switching jobs within the last year, and 60 percent are open to a different opportunity.

“Key Statistics About Millennials In The Workplace” by MARK EMMONS October 9, 2018

“Oh wait,” you say. “I don’t do that.” Then what are all your posts on Facebook? What are the painted lies you tell others? We’re all human. Jealousy and guilt are in our nature, so that leads us to be unhappy with where we are. We got it from our parents.

Though, there is no one to blame but ourselves. Regret is a catalyst for depression. Next thing you know, you’re looking in the mirror wondering what you did with your life and how you ended up there. It’s a lonely feeling, yet you’re not alone.

It may seem like everyone around you is happier in their success, but the fact remains we’re all trying to figure out life. The only thing to do is to keep trying. Keep working at what you actually want to do and turn it into income. Take the value of money out of the equation and ask yourself, is this my purpose?

I’m still in that position, searching. It’s difficult to see the future in a world of instant gratification, but it’s there. As the saying goes, “You only fail when you quit trying.” If you keep working at it, then one day, you’ll be where you want to be.