So I recently read a great blog post by Paris Achenbach (click here to read it) about learning to be patient when it comes to post-grad life and particularly, post-grad success.
Trying to be patient is something that I have been struggling with lately. I stumbled upon Meg Jay’s TED talk a few weeks ago and it reinforced all of my anxieties and fears about not getting far enough in my twenties. I’m only 22, so I know I have time…but I still worry constantly about being where I “should” be at this point in my life. I’m constantly afraid that I will wake up one day and I will be behind everyone else my age.
I know that it’s a silly fear to have and that life is not rat race (in fact, trying to remember that it isn’t is one of my 2014 resolutions—but damn, resolutions are hard) but I still can’t get over the feeling that I need to make things happen right now. And that if those things aren’t happening at this very moment, I’m failing.
It’s ironic that I am the one who often feels this way, because I’ve had plenty of conversations with friends where they seem to mirror my exact feelings, while lamenting that I am the only one moving forward in life, with everything figured out. And while I can generally recognize that, yes, I am moving forward and making progress—I’m in law school, I’ve gotten a great legal internship for the summer already, I’ve traveled quite a bit this year—it still doesn’t feel like enough.
I guess the curse of being a twenty-something, surrounded by social media, is that you’re always made aware that someone, somewhere, is doing 10x as much as you are with the same amount of time. I recently looked up (read: Internet-stalked) an acquaintance from college who graduated with me and she’s already got this amazing, well-paying job and a gorgeous, committed boyfriend. It seems like she’s already moved so far ahead of me in such a short time and it’s a little discouraging. Yes, things are never as perfect as they seem from the outside but that still doesn’t stop me from being jealous–and worried that things aren’t falling into place as easily for me.
But I’m trying to remember that being patient is important. Things will eventually fall into place for me, when it’s the right time, and there’s no point in being hard on myself just because I might not be where I want to be yet. I have to remind myself that things (especially great things, you know, like Rome) do not pop up overnight. They take time and effort and are built bit by bit. It’s just hard to keep the anxiety at bay when it seems like everyone has something going for them, especially in a competitive environment like law school.