I just turned twenty five years old last week. I’ve been watching HBO’s hit series, ‘GIRLS’ incessantly lately. Much like the shows ‘quarter life crisis’ plagued characters, I thought it almost necessary to have a similar panic attack on the day I turned twenty five. A couple of thoughts being: 1.) “My life should be more together.” 2.) “All my friends have 9-5 jobs and serious significant others.” 3.) “I’m never going to make enough money to fully pay my rent in NYC, buy groceries and get my ridiculously hard to up-keep platinum roots done.” 4.) “What if I fail at my chosen profession? What will I do?”
Okay. Obviously, no one’s dying. I can walk, I can work, I can see and I can breathe. So, these “issues” of mine may be problems of the privileged. But I know I am not the only mid-twenty-something that feels this way. With a dismal job market, bad news and the fear of God constantly in our ears, it’s difficult not to worry about our “lost generation.” That said, it is my opinion that all this disarray comes down to one factor: identity (or lack thereof).
We live in a world where standards are set and it’s up to us to meet them. We are constantly comparing ourselves to our peers and the images before us. We listen to our friends’ and parents’ opinions but rarely stop to ask ourselves how WE feel. It sounds lame, but often times we just don’t listen to and follow our own hearts. It’s time for a change. Confidence and clear vision are what I believe equate as the most important factors in finding your identity. Lately, I’ve started making those positive changes towards finding myself. Here’s what I learned:
1. Confidence is everything
I recently changed my look. I cut my hair short, dyed it platinum and added a rainbow’s worth of wild hair color. I’ve always wanted to do that. I started exercising 4 days a week and took on healthier eating habits. I also stopped worrying about public perception and starting dressing in the dumb things I like. Sounds trivial, right? Here’s what happened as a result: people started smiling at me on the street, complimenting me, striking up random conversations, guys started hitting on me and one person even asked to take a photo of my outfit on the subway! All in one day. Why does this matter? I felt good. I was exuding confidence and opportunities began to present themselves to me. I listened to my heart and put in the WORK to make the changes to feel better about myself. Be aware that looking good has nothing to do with other people’s perception of you but everything to do your YOUR perception of YOU. In an unsure world, it takes self-worth and confidence to succeed. People respond positively to those who don’t follow the crowd but somehow we are told otherwise growing up. Own your vibe and you may just nail that crucial job interview. You are worthy of all the great things life can offer. The true people in your life will love you just as you are without question. #werkit
2. Clear vision
I think that having a clear vision is another important factor in finding your identity in a world full of sheep. What is your vision for your life? What makes you happiest? Having the wherewithal to listen to your gut and not the noise around you when it comes to your life and career is so crucial. However, defining your vision takes work. It also takes trial and error. As a music artist, I have been criticized for changing lanes too often. I don’t see changing lanes as a bad thing. If something isn’t feeling right, move on. If you’re not being true to yourself, having a clear vision before you will help you get on the right track. Don’t look to your friends’ lives as a barometer on where you should be. We are all on our own very unique path. Hang onto your vision.
3. Choose Happiness
When it’s available, choose to be happy. We can’t always control the circumstances of our lives but we all have something to be pumped about. We are all going to the grave at some point, so while we are alive and well on planet Earth, live and love with the right amount of reckless abandon. Try your hardest to be kind to others. spend copious amounts of time with people that bring you joy and make you laugh. With no real promise of tomorrow, isn’t that really all that matters?