Ask any member of society to describe 20 somethings in one word and you will get a smattering of responses. Some that might come to mind: overconfident, innovative, entrepreneurial, spoiled and unnaturally obsessed with whatever YOLO stands for. One thing we definitely have become though is a race of 20 something samurai ninjas specialising in stubbornness. From an early age we have been taught if you want something there is: a) no reason why you shouldn’t get it as long as you work hard and b) no one who can tell you you don’t deserve it. Both a) and b) are great motivators for us “can do kids” but the thing that really keeps our eye on the goal is our ability to be stubborn like no other generation.
For the aforementioned alphabetised reasons, being stubborn is great. In fact it’s better than great, it is one of the key factors behind the success of 20 somethings and their ability to get shit done and achieve incredible things. However, stubbornness is a cruel master sometimes and can be used for evil instead of good, and this is where we need to lose it.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been involved in a long distance relationship. It’s the same old story, someone moves away for their job and both parties are confident love can continue to blossom from 14 hours away. I am still convinced I have made the right decision by staying behind to follow my goals and have a memorised line that I tell anyone who’ll ask why I choose to do it (“well you see it wasn’t really in line with my plan and I don’t want to be tied to a boy, I am a female hear me roar, etc, etc). Except now the only person who is starting to doubt the line is me.
I was so concerned about sticking to my guns and being firm in my original opinion that I was not so subtly shutting down anything which didn’t sit with my party line. But sitting on a plane taxing off the Canberra tarmac this morning on a freezing Monday, it did occur to me stubbornness can be a friend and a foe. Was I gaining anything from being closed to any other idea of what path our relationship could go down? In 20 years from now when I was potentially divorced and alone would I look back proudly and think “well it might not have been the right decision but at least I stuck to my word”. Instead, I’d most likely be kicking myself in the ass for being an idiot.
20 somethings are notoriously proud creatures. We have worked hard for the privileges we have been given and we are out there to prove we are worthy. We face an uphill battle everyday to convince the world we’re not represented by Miley Cyrus’s interesting choice in musical sexual innuendo but rather that we are deserving of a chance to make our voice heard.
But while I too take my placard out with me everyday and fight for the rights of 20 somethings to be taken seriously, perhaps there are a couple of battles I am willing to be more flexible on – battles that perhaps could have a profound effect on my life if I wasn’t so blind enough to notice.
So does this mean I’ll be packing up my car and moving to be with the BF? For the meantime no way (hmmm that ruins the fairy tale ending to this post doesn’t it) but I definitely have rethought my position on the issue and am open to further discussion. I like this new side of me and hope it might extend to other areas of my life. Just not home decorating, choice of pets or automobile selection. Lord knows there is no way I am compromising on a VW Golf for the family car. I mean we could have a year long trip around the world with the money he wants to spend on the sport club thing. Somebody needs to keep his priorities in order!!!
Has there been a time when you were stubborn for the sake of being stubborn and realised you weren’t actually benefiting from your strong standpoint? Let me know in the comments below.
Much love and till later