Monday, October 21, 2013

The Peak of Tres Chic Speaks: Slow Your Roll

Did you have a good weekend?  I hope so!  Lindsay and I had so much fun catching up and hanging out this weekend in her hometown of Kansas City.  Seeing a good friend does wonders for the soul.  

Today I wanted to talk about something I've been grappling with and mulling over for a few weeks now. I began to think about it after seeing this Huffington Post article, entitled "Why Gen Y Yuppies Are Unhappy".  If you haven't read the article, I suggest you do, but I'll go ahead and summarize it for you:  The author purports that Gen Y's (people born between the late 70s and mid 90s) are largely unhappy career-wise because we were raised by Baby Boomer parents who instilled in us a sense of optimism and unbounded possibility.  

 As the '70s, '80s, and '90s rolled along, the world entered a time of unprecedented economic prosperity, and the Baby Boomers did even better than they expected to- leaving them feeling gratified and optimistic about their careers and the world, and they passed this optimism on to us, their kids.  Because our parents told us we could do or be anything, our career expectations are set wildly high.  What is more, whereas our parents had the expectation that they would need to put in years of hard work to eventually achieve success and financial stability,  Gen Y'ers simply believe being immediately successful and fulfilled in our career is "our right."  

Although mildly offended at first, I feel the article does bring up some valid points.  Before I delve in to that, I do want to make a comment on our generation's supposed unfounded optimism and sense of self-worth.  Contrary to the author, I think having a positive outlook on life and your ability to shape your career path is vital to happiness.  Nowadays, with more time spent at the office than at home, I think doing something you feel some pride in and passion for is a necessity. When I made the decision to leave my "stable" oil and gas job to go back to school and work part time for an interior design firm, I was met with a bit of understandable skepticism from coworkers and acquaintances.  My salary was immediately chopped in half, I no longer had health benefits, and there was no guarantee for longevity in the interior design field.  The only thing I truly had was my own positivity and belief I could eventually make it.  Sure, maybe it was a bit foolish in the eyes of some.  But, as one of the commenters underneath the article said,  

"If I knew it would take me almost 20 years of hard work to start feeling successful, I might have given up. Optimism is hope, something everyone needs and guards against becoming jaded to the weight life puts on you."  Of course, that doesn't mean we should feel as if we are superior to our peers or that we don't need to put in the hard work and time others before us have.  Which brings me to my next point:

I often forget that most everyone who has achieved a significant level of success spared blood, sweat, tears, and years of hard work before getting there.  The article talks about Gen Y's sense of urgency to be immediately successful, and I can relate to that.  I think this urgency is sometimes propelled by the blogosphere, where bloggers can gain a large following seemingly overnight and turn their site in to a full-time career.  I also think it is perpetuated by Facebook and other social media outlets, where we are constantly "image crafting," comparing ourselves to our peers and their supposed successes.

 I've noticed that since restarting my career and going back to school, I've set some pretty unrealistic expectations for myself.  Sam regularly says to me, "You need to learn to stop and smell the roses." Although we joke about my workaholic tendencies, it really is true that I don't have much patience.  I've become obsessed with trying to create a blossoming business for myself RIGHT THIS SECOND.  It was only recently that I thought to myself, "Why the rush?"  I have my entire life to build and develop my career.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't work hard or strive for achievement; just that we should adjust our expectations a bit and realize building our career takes time and experience.

So I've made the conscious decision to stop putting unrealistic pressures on myself to achieve a level of success that isn't practical at this point.  I'm brand new to the interior design industry, I'm no expert, but I'm excited to learn and grow.  

Read the article, share your thoughts below, and join me in slowing my roll.


  1. This rings so true! I constantly have to remind myself that it can't happen overnight. I'm going to read this article right now...thanks for sharing!

  2. Such a great post, and probably one that lots of us can relate to! Optimism is great but unrealistic expectations can take the fun out of everything. Thanks for sharing!!


  3. I read that article a few weeks ago, and I thought it was really interesting. I can see both sides of it. I think what the article was really pointing out is that people of our parent's generation were more about just buckling down and working. There wasn't really such a thing as chasing your passion-they were just about hard work, plain and simple. Nowadays there's SO much talk about finding your passion, and doing something you love-in certain ways that is good, and vital to happiness, but I think the author was saying that in certain ways it's not good, or not practical. It's a tough issue, because doing what you love is incredibly important, but so is working hard, putting in time, and sometimes doing something just because you need a livelihood, even if it's not your passion.

  4. I agree with the article I just wouldnt include those born in the late 70's. I'm not saying this because that's when I was born but when I compare myself to my sister (born in the 80's), we have VERY different expectations. She definitely 'expects' things to happen much sooner and feels entitled to more money and opportunity.

  5. I love everything you said! I agree this blogging world and social media world really changes our perception of the world around us and has a created a kind of "unreal world" where things do happen over night and we all see it....but real life takes a lot of work, a lot of patience.....and knowing this is half the battle. If you know and understand this then you won't be disappointed as easily. Thanks for teh article...will go on to read it.

  6. I love what you have to say here! I tend to be super type A and constantly pressure myself to try and build Rome in a day. Just this past week I finally decided to take to heart that quote I keep seeing on Pinterest "People over estimate what they can do in a single day and under estimate what they can do in their whole lives".

  7. I'm at that place in my life where I'm ready for a career move. I, like you and every other blogger, want to be a successful interior designer. It scares the shit out of me to think I have to start over from scratch. What if nobody hires me? What if I don't actually have the talent I thought I did? Where do I even begin? I can't just keep my arse at a job for years because I'm scared to make the move. Good post, but now I'm stressed thinking about it. Haha! :)

  8. It seems that everything I watch, read and think about tends to have the same message (or at least the message I am choosing to hear) = hard (hard) work and dedication can lead to personal success (happiness). I watched Ron Howard and Jay Z's documentary about the "Made in America" concert series this weekend and was so inspired (if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it). This post reiterates everything that I felt and thought after watching that program. I believe strongly that there is great potential in everyone, success however, depends on whether you choose to work hard to tap into and meet that potential. Thank you for your post.

  9. Well said!

    I also think the article dismissed the idea that, for our generation, we now have more freedom to choose less "traditional" career paths, which is a great thing for many people. My parents can't even fathom the idea that people can make a living as a blogger, because to them it seems crazy that a person gets to have complete control over their own career. It's a one-person operation for many bloggers (and a small business at most for others), and to have that freedom is almost unheard of in earlier generations.

    So my hat's off to those of us "whiny" gen-Y folks who are doing the best we can to work with a tough economy, tough job competition, and the never-ending fight to carve out a place for ourselves in the working world. We'll be successful, many of us on our own terms - and if it takes a while to get there, it's okay. I think we'll all be happier in the long run knowing we did it in our own way. :-)

  10. Thank you for writing this. I have previously read the Gen-Y article and had similar feeling towards it as what you wrote. I shared what you wrote with my family because for them (all baby boomers) they do not understand why I want to leave my steady job to go back to school, they think if I leave my currently job it should be for a better one that pays more. Your words helped in my defense for wanting to go back to school, that this is a decision that will make me happy and will inevitability help my career.

  11. Girl you are successful in EVERYTHING you do. So proud of everything you have accomplished on your own!!


What say you? I'm all ears.

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