How Did We Get Here?

I’m sitting here catching up with a friend from high school about where we are in life right now and she said she’s still working on finding herself. We both are at the point where the world thinks we have our s*** together but we’re still figuring things out. Too many of us majored in things we don’t care about to get jobs we don’t want so we can buy cars and houses that don’t matter and raise kids who will continue that cycle. What the 🤬 for? So we can share it on Instagram? So our parents can brag on our superficial happiness at church once a week? I’d rather give my family something to be proud of than something to brag on. We have to begin to differentiate the two.

How did we get to the point, as a society, where we were expected to fake so much? We pretend to be someone when we’re dating, interviewing, parenting, and, sometimes, even reflecting, we make an attempt to seem perfect. Even in our imperfections, we want to seem like we’ve overcome whatever we were struggling with. Then we hit 30 and wonder why we only have surface level things together, if that. Or maybe America has always been like this and we’re just now realizing it. Either way, this has to change. It’s pointless to play the game.

Young folks, I implore you to start with honesty. First of all, be honest with yourselves. You spend 100% of your time with yourself. You can’t run from you and feel fulfilled. Secondly, be honest with those who you think you may one day care about. You’ll invest a lot of emotion in them (as you should). They deserve to know who they’re getting from the beginning as opposed to after a decade. And, lastly, be honest about your job. 4/9 of your waking weekday hours will occur there. Who wants to have to lie to get into a room that wouldn’t want the real them?

Be who you love. Be with someone who loves (the real) you. Do something that makes you feel like your existence matters. All of this is rooted in being honest from the beginning. Acting does nothing but get you awards that don’t give you true fulfillment (unless your passion in life is theatre).

As the great Curtis Cotton, III often said to my brothers of D.E.A.R. WINtE.R. that fateful Fall ten years ago, “Take an honest inventory of yourself.”


Make being honest in the process of discovering yourself a priority.


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