You’re Blooming Late! – By @Mr_Shankly
By Alex Morris
You’re Blooming Late!
This is my first (but no-doubt not my last) SCAB which I will open in the style of Michael McIntyre playing a sold-out O2 Arena. Here goes…
‘Is it just me that…
…. always goes straight to the age of people mentioned in news articles?’.
More often than not, it’s some sort of tech-based whizzkid’s story of success, which serves to tap me on the shoulder sharply to remind me I need to get my s*** together, as I’m already overdue my first Ted talk, second solo album and third failed start-up.
Or worst of all, an anxiety provoking all age-based list. You know, your “30 Under 30s, and “50 Under 50s”, their clickbaity allure rooted in the zero-sum game of ‘compare and despair’.
No, I take that back. There is one winner. The Social Medias.
While our ape-brains have always wrestled with the concept of envy (even before it charted on Pope Gregory’s ‘Top 7 Deadly Sins’, your boy Aristotle was spitting about our pain at the sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we ought to have”), these days we are constantly bombarded by ‘Gram perfect lives, which exerts a toll on us the likes of which we have never experienced in the history of our species.
Of course we all know when our own houses are in order, this is all the easier to overcome.
On these days we skip down the road like a post-coital Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer, blessing our peers with no-strings-attached likes and sage life-advice.
But when our self-esteem takes a dip, as some may be more prone to than others, we’re Frodo on the way to Mount Doom; bitter and twisted by the burden of the Ring of Self-Expectation.
I’m under no illusion our school system is to blame but a) that’s a whole other SCAB and b) I can’t quite put it into my own words. But as the wise folk at the Harvard Business Review puts it:
“Our culture’s obsession with early achievement dissuades us from pursuing our passions. Instead of having varied interests, studying widely, and taking our time—essentials for self-discovery—we’re encouraged to ace tests, become specialists right away, and pursue safe, stable, and lucrative careers. As a result, most of us end up choosing professional excellence over personal fulfillment, and often we lose ourselves in the process.”
But enough with the blame already. How do we deal with this in our day-to-day? Psychologists try and put it in childlike terms:
“The aim is to develop a philosophy, a way of being in the world, that allows you to recognise when someone else has something that you want but don’t have, and also to recognise that you can survive without it, and that not having it does not make you less worthy or less of a person.”
Easier said than done eh? But I guess we just keep slogging away at building up those personal philosophies and joining those dots until they form a broader horizon for us all.
And already from this year’s intake, I’ve got a fresh set of varied perspectives on life. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mates, but when Taylor Swift’s new single manages to accidentally encapsulate most of your lost weekends [“nights in Brixton… stories from Uni… watching rugby in the pub”] you know you need to switch it up a bit.
So here’s to the varied interests and fresh experience that each of the yet nameless SCA 19/20 are already bringing.
And to keeping that green-eyed monster on a tight leash.