As the fog rolls in here in San Francisco (note: It really does that. It straight-up rolls in. Trip me out.), and as I sip wine in my generous friends' gorgeous sixth floor apartment, and as I recover from my wonderfully sweaty randomly-selected yoga class that just happened to be taught by this month's Yoga Journal cover yogi (who, as it turns out, happens to be a beautifully compassionate teacher), I am moved to comment on the neuroses of the denizens of my demographic. Let's call us "college-educated women younger than the baby boomers;" I'm going to include Gen X, Gen Y and even some precocious millennials under this rant's umbrella.
The US is currently embroiled in three overseas military conflicts. We've been downgraded. Unemployment soars, and a bunch of people with no discernible economic theories to stand on are making crucial financial decisions for our country. And what are we doing instead of taking the reigns from media moguls proven to have no shred of morals or decency?
Apparently we're worrying about our glasses of wine, our parenting skills, even our fucking tendency to worry. (Wow, apparently we shouldn't worry because it'll make us crazy to worry, so that worry about becoming crazy should effectively motivate us to stop worrying. Right.)
Click the links to find out what I'm referring to, then consider this:
We have got to stop pathologizing every single fucking thing we do. Or like. Or are.
The thing that's getting to me right now is how unsatisfied we all seem no matter what we are able to accomplish. Every met goal is an afterthought; every outstanding desire is an obsession. Nothing we enjoy can be trusted. Every passion is a sickness. Every pursuit is an imperfect waste of time.
Women, and increasingly men, have to break the cycle of neurotic self-perfection if we're ever going to participate actively in the political and social progress of this planet. And to me, it's not really about those cliched directives to cast off the shallow narcotics of reality television and smartphone addiction; in fact, it's very much about figuring out ways to make our political voices loud and strong regardless of how few accomplishments we've racked up or how not-seriously-as-adults our grandparents insist upon taking us.
We are doing just fine. Our personal lives and individual selves will never be perfect. We can't keep waiting for our ideal lives to pan out before we put ourselves out there as authoritative voices ready to participate in the decisions that ultimately dictate the organization and priorities of our society.
And perhaps today, in light of our economic woes, I'm focusing more on the public sphere. But mostly, I'm concerned with our personal senses of well-being and satisfaction. I urge everyone: Be brave and radical enough to accept what you are today as enough. Stop digging around in your life for the flaws to focus on, and stop churning out "content" for women's magazines and blogs about how imperfect you/we all are. Get out of your head and find what's real.
Me, I'm trying. But sometimes the fog socks my heart in too.