Young, Dumb and...Responsible?
Young, Dumb and...responsible?
Trading YOLO for Carpe Diem
I was working from one of my favorite coffee houses, headphones on, just minding my own business (well...obviously not as you will quickly learn), when my podcast ended. I walked outside to take a phone call and when I returned, my headphones were unpaired from my phone and music was playing through the speaker on full blast. The coffee shop was busy, people were not disturbed (thankfully), and Wiz Khalifa's "Young, Wild and Free" had the two teenage girls at the table next to me jamming! I hustled back to my table and apologized for my technological fail. One of the girls in this dance party said: "Oh no worries! That song is my ANTHEM!" I looked at her and asked why. "Because that's the dream!", she said. "If I could just spend the rest of my life going to brunch, eating tacos and partying with my friends, it would be perfect!"
Wait...WHAT!? HOLD ON SIS. Houston, we have a MAJOR problem.
Had I not been nearly speechless at her response, I would have said something like "Is that really all you want? Being young, dumb and broke...is that really how you want to be perceived?" But when I put my headphones back in and sat back to think, what is unfortunately not surprising is that the influences we are all bombarded with makes it nearly impossible to think differently. Being wild and broke in your twenties because you spent your savings on a trip to Bali for the 'gram is #goals. ‘Wanderlusting’, 'living your best life', 'laying in bed and drinking Instagram-able coffee all day' has been ingrained as the most desirable way to live. Carpe diem was quickly replaced with YOLO, and crashing cars into bridges, and raiding mini fridges on drunken benders has become the hallmark of "making it".
We need to come back down to earth. The irony is that the same groups of people that want to live the forever young lifestyle are also the first to complain about #adulting. Being naive is no longer an excuse with the wisdom found in books, online, from our parents, peers, friends, coworkers, etc. Floating along down the "I'll be young forever" river eventually leads to a waterfall of massive proportions. We know it is coming, people. And we know responsibility will always be right around the corner. But have we considered that maybe it would not be so hard if we planned better for it? Life will be hard and that is a guarantee. But it will be so much more difficult if you choose to live young, wild and free for 15 years. We are doing ourselves a grave disservice by allowing mediocrity, irresponsibility, and general disregard for the future to be highlighted as our best life. What really needs to be glorified? 401k contributions, spending time bettering yourself, hustling, expanding, learning.
Where are the songs glorifying responsibility?! There is something wonderful to be said about a person who takes joy in discovering themselves not at the end of a blunt or blowing all their cash to "slay all day", but from doing the dirty work and handling their business.
Sure, I recognize that in the story above, I was talking to someone nearly 10 years my junior, but so many 20-somethings or even 30-somethings have the same mindset. Moments of recklessness and foolish choices will and should certainly occur. Handfuls of spontaneity and dumb decisions should be distributed liberally throughout your entire life. They make you more rounded, give you perspective. But in the end, it is all about balance. Balancing your late nights with your early mornings. Balancing booze filled girls weekends with meeting and exceeding your career goals. Balancing eating half a dozen donuts with spin class.
Remember, you get what you work for...and (sometimes) that includes all the mimosas you can drink.
Love Loudly. Live Loudly.