BITCH FACE

 

 

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I have returned to the blog-sphere after a few weeks in exile! I am just conceited enough to believe that someone somewhere actually missed all my ramblings and thoughts. And so, because I believe this, I will continue to write this post.

So, you may or may not (probably not) wonder about my absence. It was due to medical reasons. Medical reasons so grave that modern science has yet to find a cure, and quite frankly has yet to officially diagnose my condition. I, however, (always ahead as usual) have taken the liberty of diagnosing it myself. I refer to it as CBF Syndrome. Serious sounding and critical yes? That’s because it is. CBF Syndrome has been affecting women, and a few men, world over for years and quite frankly it is a greatly misunderstood disease that requires more awareness and sensitivity. Yeah, I said it, Cancer and AIDS are getting all the attention!

What’s that? You’ve never heard of CBF Syndrome? Exactly my point!

Well CBF in full is Chronic Bitch Face Syndrome. Yes, Chromic Bitch Face Syndrome.

I have been suffering from CBF for the past 6 years of my life and it has been a difficult disease to live with. Everyday is harder for me due to CBF. For those of you who may be wondering, according to the Urban Dictionary, CBF occurs when a female constantly has a “angered” or “agitated” look upon her face.

The following questions may help you determine if you are suffering from this horrendous disorder:

1. Do people often ask you to cheer up or relax or ask you ‘what’s wrong’ even when you aren’t feeling angry?

2. Do you find that from time to time you have to smile extra big just to stretch your muscles a bit?

3. Do your friends often tell you that people are afraid or intimidated by you?

If you answered yes to these then you most probably have CBF and should visit your nearest medical centre for assistance.

Seriously though, I would like to share my experience living with CBF.

I started to suspect that I had CBF a few years back. At first I imagined that I just had a really concerned and supportive group of friends who would constantly ask “Are you okay?” or just a bunch of hippie friends who would constantly tell me to smile. But then I quickly realised that I was the only one who got these questions. I was the only one ever told to relax or to smile. So I set out to discover what it was.

Why was everyone always telling me these things? I then discovered that, somehow, due to forces beyond me, my resting face-the natural state of my face when I have no particular emotion- looks angry or agitated. Therefore people feel the need to enquire if I am in fact angry or agitated.

CBF is a hard disease to live with. Especially for women. Especially because the full name of this condition had been lost and instead been shortened to just one word- Bitch. I find this wholly unfair. This gives an untrue and unfair representation of the condition that we battle. CBF has greatly hindered my life experiences.

For example, CBF has prevented me from making new friends- people are easily scared by a CBF sufferer. In fact, most of the few people who have actually become my friends despite this condition have then been kind enough to let me know that prior to our friendship they were afraid of me.

CBF has also led to me trying to overcompensate. I try so hard to show people that I am not at all angry and that I am in fact fine. So I laugh a lot. I laugh more than necessary. It never seems to work though. When I laugh people look at me like I’m a wolf. No seriously. You know when a wolf is laughing and all it’s teeth are showing and everyone nervous laughs along afraid that at any moment the wolf will tear them apart? That’s me. Okay a tad too dramatic but really though, it’s like everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop, or rather the bitch face to drop.

I wish I didn’t suffer from CBF. I wish I had that approachable, fun-loving vibe going on. That people looked at me from far and were like “That looks like a really cool chic to hang with who does not in any way look scary or mean!” I really wish this were true.

So how do we cure CBF? Sad truth, we can’t.  I know, it sucks. It’s just that the muscles in our faces are to blame. It is not that I mean to look unwelcoming, it’s just that that seems to be the expression my face chooses every time! Studies show that people with CBF have tighter face muscles that are inclined to rest in a taut manner, hence the look of agitation or frowning. ** (Absolutely no study shows this)

We may not be able to cure it but we can however help those already living with CBF. Here are a few tips:

1. Quit telling them to relax!

Please note that telling someone to relax when they are already super relaxed only makes them charge at you like a bull so basically you’re making it worse. And when they do erupt it is not a confirmation that they were actually not relaxed as you wrongly guessed but  only a confirmation that you are an annoying person who can make a totally relaxed person not relaxed.

2. Approach them

No, they are not dangerous. Most people with CBF are really nice people. Just talk to them, they don’t bite- even if they literally look like they bite.

3. Spread the word- raise awareness.

It helps to educate people on CBF

So I guess I’ve done my part in raising awareness about this really terrible disease that millions suffer from in silence. Let’s unite to fight CBF!

Also, enjoy this video that basically sums this all up.

5 Reasons Why Feminism Is Just Like Dieting

I’m a feminist. *Cringe*

There, I said it. Honestly, I don’t say this statement with half as much pride as I should. I’m trying to say it more often and louder, but it’s hard. Not the part about being a feminist, more so the part about telling other people that you are. The weight associated with that word is heavy. It carries so many notions and expectations.

I love being a feminist most when I’m reading feminist blogs and articles. I feel happy and strong and I feel like I’m part of this whole group of like-minded fabulous men and women who I can take on the world with.

And then I go to the real world. The world where calling a boy a girl is a serious insult; the world where nearly every top management job in nearly every sector is taken by a man. Then I feel disappointed in the world and I feel sad.

It reminds me of the feelings I got when I started a healthy lifestyle. I was so excited. I read books about healthy eating and living. I checked recipes on-line and read tips for survival. I was excited to start my healthy life. I was going to be a concious eater, I was going to look at my health more critically. I was going to safeguard my body for longevity. (Also, in a wonderfully ironic fashion, I was going to loose weight in order to fit into the standard of attractiveness and beauty that the world has set for women. Ignore that part).

And then I went into the world- the world where people look at you funny for having salad for lunch and don’t understand how you don’t drink soda.

And I realised that taking on feminism and changing your lifestyle are not two altogether different things. So I drew some parallels between feminism and eating healthy (I’ll use the word diet to refer to a healthy lifestyle in general):

1. Being on a diet is hard!

It’s hard, but it’s good for you (so long as it is healthy and not a weird eat-one-raisin-a-day diet).

We all love meat, cookies and sugar. Let me say that again: We ALL love meat, cookies and sugar. Yes, even you vegetarians and vegans. (I do admit that your attempts to fight your essential nature are very noble).

So when we decide to give up completely or reduce our intake of these things, it’s hard. However, scientific research has apparently shown than eating well helps us live longer or something. So for those of us interested in life preservation then diets are good for us.

It’s good for you to be a feminist. It really is- It opens up your mind. Feminism kills ignorance, it encourages reasoning and logic. I think it opens the door to fighting racism, classicism, sexism, tribalism, religious intolerance, xenophobia and all types of discrimination because really, in the end, it’s about prejudice of any kind and the need to end it.

Let’s be honest, that’s scary. To think? To grow? To get over ourselves and see a picture bigger than ourselves? To leave our shells and explore the world without bars and barriers? And get this, sometimes you even have to speak up (gaaasp! What? Nooo!). That’s hard. That’s difficult.

It’s hard, but it’s good for you.

2. You’ve got to stick to your diet.

We all want that piece of chocolate cake- and I’m not talking about your ‘cheat days’. I’m talking about all the time. I just want chocolate cake all the time- for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I wish I didn’t have to wait seven days to ‘reward’ my self with a piece of cake the size of which I would ordinarily not consider to be a real piece of cake.  Anyway, sorry, off topic.

It’s the same with feminism. It’s not a fad, it’s not a trend. It’s a choice. You can’t turn it on and off. You can’t be a feminist on Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other Saturday. It’s who you are. And, to be honest, vigilance is hard- do I really have to do this all the time? Sigh. I have to make choices that will advance feminism gains and not reverse them. It’s not fun to think about that all the time. Some jokes about rape are funny- but are they really? Is rape a joke? *See how serious it got right there?*

3. You start with a bang. . . and then. . .

You start off your diet with a certain amount of gusto. You are full of energy and zeal. You’re going to eat every carrot and every apple and no single slice of bread will make it onto your plate. Then you find that you’re woozy and tired. And oddly enough in the middle of the day you find yourself thinking of things you wouldn’t ordinarily think about like peanut butter covered cupcakes- What? Is that even a thing? Either way, it suddenly seems appealing.

So you cool the enthusiasm. Not because you are giving up, but because it is not humanly possible for any person to be so enthusiastic about vegetables and legumes- I mean have you not ever heard of chicken nuggets and pasta and ice cream. What are you? An alien? In which case, welcome to earth and kindly sample the above-mentioned nutritional items (not sure how you say ‘food’ in alien speak.)

In the same way you start feminism off with a bang. You see every girl and feel the need to empower her; to be on her side; to fight for her. You wan’t to educate everybody on feminism. You want to open their eyes. But then you loose it slowly. You just can’t be politically correct ALL the time. You need that chocolate cake because that girl is really just being a BITCH and there is no other word to describe her and you are sorry for using such a derogatory word against a woman but, come on!

Feminism doesn’t rile you up any more, you just can’t give those long speeches you used to. You’re getting burned out.

4. You realise that the whole world isn’t dieting with you

It’s really great that you’re into your health and stuff but we’re still going to eat French fries in front of you  and we still love Oreos and candy. So good luck and all, but you kinda signed up for that lifestyle alone.

I never realised how chauvinist the world is until I became a feminist. I mean, if I challenged each and every chauvinist statement I heard on a daily basis I would run out of breath. It’s the tiniest things. Like someone calling me the ‘Smartest girl I know’ in the kind of voice you use to tell your dog ‘Good job boy!’.

Just because you woke up and smelled the roses doesn’t mean we did it with you. We will continue to be small minded and discriminatory and we will continue to be bias. This isn’t a lovely musical where we all join in song and synchronise-dance.

Chauvinism, it’s everywhere. In the smallest ways and in the biggest ways. It creeps up and shows its face in even the people who are closest to you and then what now? We can’t all eat healthy because you are.

5. Secretly, most people roll their eyes

How many times has a friend told you they were starting a new diet or becoming healthier and you just rolled your eyes. It’s like, relax. You’re taking this life thing too seriously. Think about it, don’t we sometimes think these exercise buffs and vegan types are just being slightly obnoxious? Take a chill pill- enjoy a burger.

That’s how some people feel about feminism. Just sit down and quit making noise. It’s not that big of a deal.

But it is! It really is. Equality is a big deal. Perception is a big deal. Women can do so much but historical and systemic barriers have been erected and need to be torn down. And we need feminists- or quite frankly, any person who considers themselves to be fair, logical and reasonable- to break down these barriers.

I want to say I’m a feminist without feeling like I need to apologise. I want to say I’m a feminist and not have people immediately think all manner of untrue things about me. I also want some chocolate cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Reality May Suck But You’ve Got To Stop Waiting Around For Superman

Do you ever live in your head? I bet you do. I think we all do. What I mean is,  when we imagine our life as we would have liked it to be- past, present or future. I’m not talking about goals and ambitions that you hope to achieve- I’m talking about pure wishful thinking. Just, hoping you could be carried away from your current situation and planted in a different one where things are the way you want them to be. Imagining life if you had a better boyfriend who doesn’t think fat jokes are so hilarious especially since you’re really trying to lose the weight or a girlfriend who doesn’t think you’re taste in music is lame because if she’d just listen to it she’d finally get what was going on with you. Or if you had a better best friend than the one you think you might be forcing yourself to have, one who listened more and talked less. Or if you had had a better dad or mum. (Woah! Getting heavy!)

But you know what I mean? Those moments where you sit and build a whole new life for yourself for a few minutes or hours- hey, it happens- and then after those precious wonderful moments you crash back into your real life. You crash back into the reality that yup, this is what you’re stuck with.

I have. More times than is healthy.

It started with the usual stuff, the dreams that even you know are in insane- winning the lottery; being discovered as an actress/model as I shop in the supermarket; moving to Hollywood and becoming crazy famous; meeting John Mayer and curing his perennially broken heart (all he’s looking for is someone to love him! Can’t you understand that, famous women he’s dated? ); landing an Oscar-winning role in a movie people have actually seen (Name ONE Gywneth Paltrow movie you’ve ever seen- Iron Man doesn’t count. What’s that? You forgot she was in Iron Man? We all did); becoming Taylor Swift’s best friend (We’d work through the John Mayer bit- this wasn’t perfectly thought out, okay?) and she’d tell me who all those songs were about (!); meeting President Obama; getting rich; travelling the world and staying in five star hotels; falling in love with another famous Hollywood actor or a musician; our love will instantly make all females around the world jealous but they will eventually realise that we are the loves of each other’s lives; getting married; having a few kids. .

I’ve rambled.

Anyway, it started like that. But I quickly realised that living in your head is fun! I mean all you do is give people lines and they say them, and money and success magically appear without too much hard work, and you always get the guy, and you never date pricks, and you’re the love all your boyfriends’ lives, and everybody likes you and all your friends think you’re amazing and awesome and the best advice giver. You never worry if you’ll say the wrong thing or if you’ll hurt someone or if you’ll get hurt because life in your head is perfect.

But then the line blurs. . You go from imagining things in your head to thinking they actually happened. Stick with me, I’m not crazy. One minute you are in the middle of telling a story and the next you realize that you twisted the ending to what you WISH it had been instead of what it had ACTUALLY been. Stories become action packed and entertaining, people become exciting and suddenly wonderful. You’ve romanticized all your relationships. Your girlfriends and you are as thick as thieves when really you’re getting bored of gossip, you and you’re mum are really just best friends who get into heated arguments not two people who say really hurtful things to each other. That night out wasn’t cold and kinda shady, it was fun and the best night of your life.

When you’ve lived in your head long enough you start to project those situations onto your real life. Living in your head . . . the thing about it is that, you’re never in the present. You’re never actually interacting with people or getting to know them. You always prefer the version of them that you have delicately constructed in your head. In your head you give them lines and they say them, you give them roles and they stick to them but in reality it’s obviously different. People never say what you want them to and do what you want them to. It’s messy and hurtful and boring and frustrating. Why can’t I just be God? You cry. You want to control all the pieces. You feel like telling whoever is running this shit to move over because they’re getting it all wrong. You should have a boyfriend already; someone should fall madly and deeply and stupidly in love with you; you should have a true friend; you should be who you are and fearless about it; you should just have it together- why are they messing this all up! In my other life I’m so much better off than in this one.

So you build a wall, you prefer your imagination, you prefer the life you’d made up to then one you’re stuck with. It’s because real people: people with flaws, people with needs, friends with issues and problems, friends who don’t understand you the way you want to be understood or friends who you don’t understand, friends who aren’t as close to you as you want to believe, jobs that suck, bosses that have you pushing paper for years, school work that is piled up sky high, a self-esteem that is in the toilet. . . These things and these people anger you, almost disgust you. They aren’t as good as the life you’ve imagined for yourself in your day dreams.

Why are we so afraid of reality? Rather, why am so afraid of reality? I spend so much time wishing instead of living. I’m afraid to look at my life critically, convinced that somehow as long as I don’t accept it, this isn’t really my life. I don’t like people because they are human- I’m not used to humans. They are the kind of creatures who hurt you and make stupid comments and who are selfish sometimes and annoying. I’d rather shut everyone out and go to my corner and think of my made up life full of people who get me, a life full of adventure and no pain and no frustration.

If this doesn’t sound familiar then umm . . . move along you’ve just spent five minutes of your life reading a crazy lady’s blog.

But if it does sound even vaguely familiar, then I say to you:

Your whole life is passing by as you wait for Superman to save you. When will you realize that this is not a dream or a joke- this is it. Your life, it began the day you were born (shocking how we sometimes need to remember this!). It won’t begin when you’re sixteen or eighteen or twenty one or starting college, or graduating. It won’t begin the day you move away from home or move to a bigger city. It won’t begin the day you start feeling happy or the day you get good at something. It won’t begin the day you start at your dream job or the day you get married, or have a baby or make your first million. It won’t begin then, it’s already begun. So quit day dreaming, quit wishing, quit imagining- it’s doing you no good.

You’re going to have your heart beat up and wrecked and put back together again- it’s going to happen so quit thinking you can avoid it or delay it by locking it up. You’re only making it weaker and less prepared for battle. Stop thinking that some how if you stay aloof and make no connections and don’t get attached to anyone in this god-awful place then when the super hero comes to take you to you’re ‘real’ life it will be much easier.  It’s like locking up your race horse until the race day- you think he’ll be well rested and faster than the other horses who are tired out from all the training when really he’ll just be inexperienced and will wear out faster and will have no stamina compared to those other horses that have battle wounds and who are stronger and smarter when it comes to racing. Heck, he might actually stay in the starting cage and never run because he doesn’t know that’s what he’s supposed to do.

You’ve got to get out there.

I wan’t to live in the real world. I wan’t to live it and breathe it.

You’re real life can be more extraordinary than you think if you just got rid of this illusion of your other life.

PS.: This post was really me talking to myself if someone else benefited I’m even more delighted.

Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

Do you remember that time? That time when we laughed at silly inside jokes? That time when we shared stories? That time when we talked freely? Do you remember that time when nothing was stiff or pained or awkward?

I do. I remember that time. It was a lovely time wasn’t it? Sometimes I miss it, but sometimes I don’t.

We’re hanging in limbo. It’s hard to tell if this is something that has ended- something that I should give up; the past;  an experience- or if it’s something I need to fight for- something that still has a chance; still has a life. Don’t you think about that sometimes? I think you do.

I wish someone would tell us what to do.

I thought we had a fighting a chance, I thought we could make it to the finish line but what if we don’t? What if we weren’t supposed to? What if we were and we don’t work hard enough to?

Sigh. It’s hard to decide. It’s like pulling the plug- am I supposed to? Is it okay to give up? Or am I supposed to watch us on life support, for however long, just to seem loyal?

Dear friend,  we didn’t have a blow out. We would NEVER have a blow out. That was the nature of us I guess, we didn’t fight with fire but maybe we didn’t love like that either. We just fizzled out slowly and quietly.

I was always too loud for you anyway. I know that. I was loud and noisy and I turned your life upside down, but you told me it was okay, you told me we fit that way- to be fair, I told you that as well.

I had the crowd around me and that could get scary but I always let you know that you weren’t the crowd, that you were much more than the crowd. In all honesty, I did sometimes treat you as the crowd and that wasn’t fair to you. But I guess you also just liked to think of yourself that way, you never really believed me. You doubted me from the beginning and I doubted you as well.

And as the crowd drew away, you drew away too. I didn’t seek you out, I was angry. I wished you had treated me better- I wished you had known how much you mean’t to me. Actually, you should have known! You should have known. You acting like we weren’t close- that hit me hard. Did you really think you could just slip away like everyone else and go unnoticed?

Something great happened to me the other day and I wanted to tell you but I couldn’t. It would feel awkward to call after all this time. You found out eventually and you congratulated me in the way you always did. It felt weird. And something great happened to you and I had to find out from someone else. I don’t know whether to call or not to. Are we agreeing to the same thing in our silence? Or are we both too proud to speak out first?

Dear friend, you meant a lot to me back then but I won’t lie, everyday that passes you mean less and less. I think you feel the same.

Dresses Are From Heaven, Pants Are From Hell- This Is Not A Fashion Blog

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If you haven’t noticed yet, I hate pants. I hate them. This is not some radical religious post so worry not. No, this is a post from a person, a woman, who has recently come to despise, loathe and quite frankly fear pants- jeans, cotton, dress pants, khakis e.t.c. It doesn’t matter, I hate them. Pants were made in a corner of hell where only the ugliest and darkest things are brewed and made and released to mankind- the fieriest pits of hell.

Dresses on the other hand were made in heaven. The corner of heaven where sunshine, butterflies, rainbows and flowers were made. Dresses are pretty, comfortable, cover up most ‘problem areas’ perfectly and are the easiest outfits to throw together. Think about it, you put on a really pretty dress and all you need is a pair of nice shoes and maybe a jacket and voilà that’s it! You can get dressed in under 20 minutes.

Pants on the other hand. . . bleugh. They never fit right and if they do it isn’t for long. You can hardly ever tell if you look good in pants (with dresses you know almost immediately). You put them on and you start to worry they don’t fit right. Are they too tight? Does your bum look weird? Is it just you or did they shrink? Why can you see your ankles? Are you supposed to see your ankles? And you’re not done! You have to put on a shirt. But alas, the shirt is too short and it doesn’t cover your bum well enough. Or it’s too long and looks like a dress- so do you wear pants or tights or jeggings? Or the colour isn’t right for your colour of pants. It’s just so hard to put an outfit together with pants!

And don’t get me started on the sizes! In one store you’re a 12, the other you’re a 14 and the next you’re 11 medium. What is that even? Why isn’t there a standardised pant labelling method? If you’re going to get beat up I think you’d rather the bullies ganged up and did it once, not each one at their own turn.

Sometimes when I wake up I get headaches thinking of the amount of time I’m going to spend in the mirror putting an outfit together. So then I just throw on a dress and feel so much better.

But let me be honest, this isn’t about fashion or style, it’s about something else, something deeper. I hate pants because they make me sad.  I’ve come to fear dressing up in the morning just because there is a very strong possibility that my pants may not fit me today. There is a chance NO pants will fit today. Maybe it will be one of my bloated days, or bloated months. . . or year. And I’ll spend hours looking in the mirror willing my body to shrink, willing it to become smaller just for today, just so that I can spend less than an hour getting ready.

Ask a woman, there are certain complicated relationships you will have in your lifetime: Your mother, your body and your pants.

And don’t ask why I can’t buy bigger pants. Because I don’t need them! I don’t need bigger pants. I am this size. I need to be this size. I need to fit into the pants in my closet. No other pants will do. So my pants beat me up and abuse me and I still go back, I still try to wear them. It’s a psychotic relationship because when they finally fit- the joy! I wish I wouldn’t attach 70% of my worth to getting dressed in the morning, I wish I wouldn’t be so mad when the zip wouldn’t go up. I wish I could love my pants. I wish my pants didn’t own me.

It’s a roller coaster really. That’s why dresses are better. They flow out and cover up and they are tremendously forgiving- they fit you from your skinny days to your not so skinny days and they keep silent about it. Pants on the other hand announce the extra kilo like it’s the end of the world. Pants are from hell. They really are.

Started From The Bottom. . . Will I get there? And Other Failure-related Concerns of A Millenial

“Started from the bottom now we’re here
Started from the bottom now my whole team fucking here
Started from the bottom now we’re here
Started from the bottom now the whole team here, nigga. . “

From YOLO to Started from the Bottom, Drake has a knack for capturing the voice of this generation in a simple phrase.

I listened to this song several times before I realised why it affected me so much. There’s something about these lyrics that made me stop. They really made me stop. I thought about it and realised that they made me sad.  Yes, sad. You see, Drake sings/ raps (?) about having finally made it to the top. And I realised that many of us young adults want so badly to be able to sing these lyrics a few years from now. How badly we want these lyrics to reflect our lives. We want to have made it.

I don’t need any study to tell me that this generation (Generation Y, The Millenials whatever you call it) is one of the most empowered and self assured generations. We’ve grown up believing in our selves, we’ve grown up expecting (if not demanding) a better life than our parents. We’ve been told that we are the best, that everything we need to succeed is inside us, that we can change the world, that we can be the force, the power. And all these things are true to an extent and are wonderful but, have we been prepared for failure?

Have we, the golden generation, been told what to do if we don’t make it? I sure haven’t.

I think we will have a harder time accepting failure than most generations and here are some reasons why.

1. Our idea of success is somewhat ridiculous

My parents are very middle class, maybe even upper middle class. My dad is doctor and a university professor and my mum is a lawyer. They’ve built a wonderful life for my sister and I. We’ve got enough and a little extra. Maybe even a little more than a little extra.

But, I still want more than parents. There’s a lot my parents cant do due to money constraints that I wish I could. Yet, among their peers my parents are successful, even enviable. They’ve made it by their standards of success- stable career, two nice cars, nice home, children in good schools, children in good colleges. These were some of the things my parents dreamed of.

Fast forward to my generation and this isn’t enough. Us guys, we want astronomical success. Let’s admit it guys, we want the ten cars, we want the mansion, we want the fabulous holidays. Our measure of success is seriously higher than the generation before us.We want to be rich. We all want to be more than secure, we want a lot.

Let me use myself as an example. I dream big. I’m ambitious. My idea of ‘starting from the bottom’ is living in a very middle class area in a nice spacious three bedroom apartment as my first home. I haven’t ever considered the one bedroom guest house in someone else’s back yard.  I imagine a cute little home with my sense of style and décor, I haven’t considered having one couch and one plate and one cup and maybe a mattress without a bed. I dream of my first car and my first job simultaneously. I haven’t considered using public transport for at least a year before I can even afford to even THINK about that car.

We want it all and then some. I’ve heard some of my peers say they want to retire by 30! We want the good life, anything less is not acceptable. But, has anyone told us that having what our parents have is not a downgrade, not a failure. That we might end up being the very definition of middle class and that would be okay?

2. We don’t envision the ladder, just the top step

My friends and I dream of the top. We dream of being the CEO of our own multi-million dollar business and the top lawyers with our own law firms and the top fashion designers with our own labels and the top engineers. We dream of the top. We don’t dream of the mail room, we don’t dream of being tea girls and messengers and personal assistants. When we talk of working at Google we want to sit with Larry Page, we don’t want to be going on coffee runs. We want to be winning the cases in court like Harvey Spector, not filing in the back room. We want to be curing cancer not doing the paperwork on research.

Now, we all know we won’t jump there but do we REALLY know?  Has it really hit us- the reality of starting at the bottom? You might be at the bottom for years before anyone gives you a second glance. You might be at the bottom so long you’ll forget you even wanted to be at the top.

We might start from the REAL bottom. When I think about it I sometimes want to cry. I might, in fact I probably will, be out of college with all my dreams and passion and energy and hopefully my First Class Honours degree and I’ll still be working the phones, I’ll still be lucky to get an actual case on my own. And I might do this longer than I would hope.

To make it big, you start small.

3. We raised each other. Cue the jealousy, envy and depression

My generation raised each other. It’s true.  We learned things together. We watched the same movies when we were thirteen at sleepovers. We saw the world together. We learned more about boys from our friends than our mums. We learned about drugs when our friends offered us weed- forget all those teacher-led drug education classes. Facebook and Twitter connected us and then mashed us up into one person.We grew up together more than any other generation.

Thus, we are each other’s landmarks.  We measure ourselves against each other more than usual. That’s why we take 3 hours looking at a photo before putting it up on Instagram. We seek each other’s approval more than usual. So inevitably we’ll judge our success against each other. The jealousy may kill us. The envy will eat away our souls. We will never stop Keeping up with the Joneses. Due to our group mentality we will imagine that if everyone else is at a certain level I must be there too and something is incredibly wrong with me if I’m not there yet. It was the same for girls and their periods and boys and breaking their voices and it will be same for our jobs, our salaries, our homes- we’ll want to have them when everyone else is having them; we won’t want to be the last ones there.

But are we ready to be last one there? Are we ready to be the only one still hustling when everyone else seems to be done with the hustle?

I’m genuinely scared. I will work and push and do my best but I try to remind myself that  I am not and will never be a sum total of my perceived success. At then end of my life, top lawyer or not, that will matter very little when determining my success or failure.

I will still dream big and be ambitious but I will never expect it to a given. Thank goodness my parents have instilled me with a work ethic. They’ve made it clear that there is a point in time (coming very soon) when it will no longer be acceptable to be relying on them. I get that and I’m trying my best to prepare for that reality.

Meanwhile,  I cherish their home. My room and my nice bathroom and hot shower and a fridge that’s full and never having to ration the milk and never worrying about bills. I cherish my full closet and cable TV that is always paid for, I cherish the WiFi and the family vacations. I cherish it and I hope that one day my kids will have all these things to cherish because I will be able to give it to them.