“What would you like to read about on a millennial blog?” I asked my parents at lunch. “What is a millennial blog?” My dad asked. “Well, that would be the blog of mine,” I replied. “Write about how to find balance with food,” he finally said. “Write about how to find balance with work,” advised mum. “Thanks guys,” I said and left our brainstorming session – only to find myself at the desk 30 minutes later, writing a text on finding balance.
We’ve been talking a lot about millennial issues lately, and I suspect that my parents still can’t wrap their heads around some of them. What do millennials want? They seem to have everything already. I get it. We do seem to have everything.
But maybe it’s less about what we have and more about how we have it. I discussed new year’s resolutions with a bunch of people, and almost everyone mentioned harmony, balance, peace. So this is what we’re chasing after in 2019, people! BALANCE. We’re the generation of #lagom and coloring books for adults, after all. We’re the 4-hour-a-week overachievers who juggle yoga and side hustles. On paper, we know everything about harmony and zen.
So why is balance slipping away from us?
The Perfect Sync
I grew up being told to be modest, but I also grew up believing that I can have it all. I imagined my dream life to look like a pie, evenly cut in pieces – work, friends, family, love, creativity, all in perfect sync and balance. There’s no reason not to aim for that, I believed, if only I work hard enough. Work hard for the perfect balance.
But hard work failed me. No matter how much I struggled, the pie was never evenly cut – for example, there were times when work consumed significantly more space than I expected. There were times when I was so in love that the the whole pie basically consisted of romance. There were times I was so concerned about my family that I neglected my friends, and vice versa.
And whenever there was balance, it was fragile and temporary. The proportions of the pie pieces turned out to be pretty fluid, changing unpredictably every year. One piece too large, one too thin – never even. Whatever life threw at me, it never even remotely resembled the perfect symmetry I dreamed about. In fact, it got further and further away from me with each and every year.
Nothing Is Missing
The problem wasn’t with what I had but how I had it. I grew up being told to be modest, but I was greedy. Not for wanting to have it all, but for wanting to have it all at once. For fuck’s sake, I wolfed down the whole pie while complaining the pieces were disproportional.
I asked my friend Martina how she was doing the other day, and she smiled and said: “I’m great. Nothing is missing.” I like that. Whatever I have, nothing is missing. I’ve been living in perfect, messy imbalance since 1996 and that’s never going to change. Admitting that is probably the closest I’ve ever been to zen.
PS: Sorry dad, more about food next time ❤