It's OK to Coast
The second I had decided the subject of this blog, I brought up Safari on my phone so I could begin this post with an inspirational quote. But, alas, typing “quotes about coasting in life” into Google comes up with nothing but reminders of how coasting takes you downhill and is a disservice to life...
...Just the source of optimism one needs.
By the way of the world and the actions of my parents, I have been born into the ever so amazing, ‘hustle and burnout culture’…my favourite. What was once a harmless platform to capture memories of moustache socks and empty Pink Lemonade Lucozade bottles, has now become a global portfolio for everyone and their Nan’s work. A new brand deal secured here, a ’15 hour shift’ story there, and oop…don’t forget the motivational Monday caption to your left. “Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done”.
This world that we each carry within the palm of our hands, between the fabric of our pockets, has formed a culture that will reject you if you crave anything but competition, challenge and constant.
You aren’t able to cope with being overworked? We don’t want you.
On paper I suppose this way of life is nothing but beneficial to the individual. Our hunger to work and motivation to want more has given us day-to-day opportunities that our grandparents have worked their whole lives for. But in order to catch the dreamy flights to Bali and shop at Selfridges on a Saturday, the skill that sits at the top of your CV must be an astronomical work ethic. And you must always want more. You don’t have much time to settle. And you can never, ever coast.
To brief you on where I stand within this culture, I was a 2020 graduate. I am not going to give you the ins and outs of what this entails, because we all lived through the pandemic and we all saw the state of both our economy and job market. I’m assuming you’ve also guessed I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who have yet to secure the full-time job of her dreams. I am confident in saying I have a dream, and a passion, an industry I want to put a lot of hard work and dedication into-I mean, it is currently 12:28am and all I want to do is write!!!…but that is because my social media feeds made me feel as though I was slacking. But at the current stage of life I am at, do I have that driving force that fuels me to achieve success?
Think what you will, but no.
For the past couple of months now, I have seen nothing but success and happiness for my peers, for which I am nothing but proud of. As I am huddled in the centre of my bed, index finger scrolling aimlessly through my phone, another friend has secured a job and is onto their next chapter in life, and I, on the other hand, have nothing but seething jealousy. Not the jealousy in which I wish it was me with the new job, in fact, I feel jealous that they have the motivation to do all the work beforehand. Now that I’m writing this, I feel as though it may be too honest to admit. No one wants to raise their hands and say they basically feel lazy do they? My boyfriend will probably tell me to delete that when he reads this in the morning. But the truth of the matter is, I am going through a really horrible time in life right now. No, don’t worry, I haven’t made you get this far into reading to expect a ‘woe is me comment’, but instead, I would like your consideration and understanding. Because for right now, all I want to do is survive. And to do that, I will be coasting.
There is one very confused half of me that wonders if this will be a time of my life I regret. Not grabbing life by the dick or whatever. “You’re in the prime of your life, your work ethic won’t ever be the same, what about that house you’re saving up for?”. I mean, I am still earning an income and having a social life…I haven’t pressed pause just yet. To romanticise it somewhat, I’m like that comfort TV series you go back to. Re-watching FRIENDS for the billionth time instead of watching Outer Banks like all your friends are doing because you’re just not ready yet.
But you know what, sometimes it’s okay to watch the stupid storyline of Joey and Rachel play out again, because it’s safe. And sometimes you have to admit to yourself that safe is what you need. Safe doesn’t mean stopped. It doesn’t mean you’ll never go the deep end and jump out of your comfort zone again. Because you know you will, you have got big plans and dreams. Goals to tick off. Stories to tell. It just means you need time. Regain centre. Take a minute. Remember life happens.
Because you know that in order to achieve all the amazing things you have planned in your life, you need to be safe now.