We’ve all heard the phrase “not all those who wander are lost” before. It’s a snippet from a poem by J. R. R. Tolkien entilted All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter, which is one of my favorite poems of all time. It’s basically saying: not everything is the way it appears, and that just rings so true in my heart.
Take social media for instance. We’re constantly scrolling, liking, tweeting, editing, tagging, and uploading little portions of our lives that we want the world to see. What we want the world to think our lives are always like. We always have fresh flowers in a vase sitting on the windowsill, and we always have our hair perfectly done wearing the most put together outfit. Our lives are always perfect, right?
Wrong. Our lives on social media are what we want others to perceive our lives are like, and that’s a two-way street. We’re looking at other peoples feeds, thinking “Wow, I wish I can do those things. Why haven’t I done those things? Why haven’t I traveled? Or gotten that promotion? Or figured out how to correctly layer my clothing without looking like I jumped out of the hamper?” We have this idea in our heads that by the age of twenty-something, we’re supposed to have everything figured out. We’re supposed to have the best job, or the best friends, or the best retirement plan.
The truth is, we’re living in a different generation. As a fellow twenty-something (ahem, 24), we were thrown into a time of recession. A time where jobs weren’t as easy to come by as they used to be. A time where debt was at it’s highest and technology was changing.
If you look back, some of the most admired entrepreneurs of our time didn’t get their feet wet with what they later ended up doing until much later in their lives. They were figuring this shit out just like we are now. They went through obstacles, and turmoil, and breakups, and failures, and seamless orders taking forever to arrive, also. Okay, maybe not that last one – but you know what I mean.
We need to start thinking in a way that says “Hey, I got this. I’m going to be alright.” instead of thinking “I’m in my early twenties and still have no idea how a 401k works.” We have time to figure this all out and we’re not in a rush to get anywhere. You’ll arrive when you arrive and you won’t arrive any sooner. Take each day as it comes, and work your butt off to get where you need to be. Then, and only then, will you realize you’re going to be just fine. It’s okay to be a little lost in this little world, and maybe that’s why I chose the photo that I did for this post. It was a candid shot a friend of mine took, and her exact words were “Mel, you look kind of lost.” I don’t know why, but I liked that a lot. Maybe I was thinking of something, or someone, or a place, or a distant memory. But what I do know is that she was wrong in her assessment. Not all those who wander are lost, and not everything is how it appears on the surface, remember?
I want to leave you off with this little chart that I found on the interweb, which essentially inspired me to write this post. It’s an outline of some really awesome folks who didn’t get their shot at destiny until later in life. I think it’s a great reminder that Shits. Going. To be. OKAY.
That being said, Happy Friday.
(no but really how do you work a 401k)