The Quarter Life Crisis: Chapter 4
This week, the internet’s sponge has been really heavy with the soapy wetness of broad-stroke Millennial analysis. Which makes my last two articles of broad-stroke Millennial analysis seem a lot less cool. But mine were first. Because nobody has ever written about Millennials until me.
So today I’m just talking about what it’s like to be one Millennial in particular: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Just kidding. It’s me. I’m the Millennial. And I’m covering specifically things that make me happy/a better person, because I tend to do a lot of complaining. Here it goes: I like figuring shit out. It makes me feel like a super hero. What’s up? In order to customize this Tumblr theme I need to know CSS? Give me four hours, I’ll learn CSS.
Huh? Every time I start up my MacBook Pro my foot hurts? That seems like a complicated issue, but a quick Google search provides just what I need to go into Library>Startup>Items>Application>Support>Metatarsal and delete “ouchfoot.plist.” The internet age has instilled me with the well-founded belief that every single problem is solvable. Which is a great attitude to have, because it allows me to skip over, or at least minimize, the period of severe depression that accompanies major issues, before I shift into an obsessive investigation into a solution.
The problem is that everything isn’t solvable
Like the stuff inside my brain-meat. So my obsession with solutions leads to over-thinking every situation until I develop digestive and sleeping issues and rely on prodigious amounts of coffee to fix both. This just makes solving a problem all the more rewarding. Like I said, Super hero.
Also not as easily solvable? Medical issues. It’s because the medical establishment doesn’t work like that. I think maybe it should, but it doesn’t. So when I go into the doctor’s office complaining that at random intervals my right ear starts hearing at a slightly lower pitch than my left ear (true story). Then my doctor does all these tests, which cost way too much money for a guy with no insurance and no job. By the way, I can do a “the government’s fucked” article some week soon—though since this is a Canadian publication the insurance-thing isn’t quite as relevant. “Nope, you’re fine,” the doctor says. Well, that really drives my ear crazy. I’m not fine! The ear thing is still happening, and I’m out a thousand bucks!
If one of the speakers on my computer started out-putting a slightly lower pitch at random intervals, and I learned that the speaker is working fine, well I’d do some more ‘sploring and figure her out! And I won’t have to spend a grand to do it. Most information is free and most parts are cheap if you research long enough.
I also like making people laugh. It also makes me feel like a super hero. I like it because I like laughing myself. It feels a lot better than being stoned or drunk or swimming or fully erect. To me, making people crack up is like if you could just make someone super high by just blorting words from your mouth-hole! What an amazing power!
Super. Fucking. Hero.
I also love food. I love to eat good food and I like to cook good food. I hold very strongly the opinion that if you like consuming something, you should learn how to create it. I consume comedy and film and television, so I’ve spent the bulk of my life learning how to make it.
I like music, so I learned how to play it.
I like food, so I learned how to cook it.
The philosophy behind this is twofold:
FOLD #1) Don’t rely on other people to always give you the things you like. Finding an amazing restaurant is great, but knowing how to make yourself and your friends amazing food is a lot more reliable.
FOLD #2) Stop being greedy, asshole! Don’t just be a consumption junky. Make something! It doesn’t even have to be for anyone! Am I the best at solving problems or at making people laugh or cooking a cassoulet? No. But I’m good at all three.
“Best” isn’t real anymore. Do you know who the best metalsmith is? Friggin…the KX784-T at thousands of I-beam manufacturing facilities around the globe (I made that up). Everything you think you’re good at? There’s someone better in Latvia that’s doing it too, and you can watch them do it on the internet. And that prodigy in Latvia? There’s someone better in Estonia. And it keeps going from there, infinitely, forever, but they’re all in Baltic countries for some reason.
I try not to worry about being the best. I’ve always been satisfied with an A-. Not because I don’t like succeeding and not because I don’t strive to improve, but because it’s more important to be good than to be perfect. Once you’re perfect, you stop. But if you always stay good then you can always get better. Also, fun fact: you don’t need to be perfect at something to do it well, in fact, “good” kind of has more heart than “perfect.” Anyway, that’s a bit about my “brain-meat,” to borrow a phrase from myself above. Hope it was interesting, and not too self-indulgent. Be good.