“Nothing Good Gets Away”

By: Naomi Matlow

I saw this incredibly poignant and thoughtful chart by writer and illustrator, Michelle Rial on my Instagram feed this week: 

It rang incredibly true to my own subconscious perception of time (and running out of it) and age (and feeling much younger than it) and led to some interesting conversations with my peers about how many societies make us feel at a certain age that, “we should have figured it out by now”. But what exactly is the it? Is it ourselves? Our whole lives? Our careers? 

One of the core pillars of Unsettled is relating to life as a process, a lifelong journey, where the end, as morbid as it may sound, is not a corner office or a mortgage payment, but death. And as Michelle Rial articulates so beautifully, that is the reality. 

In a letter to his 14-year-old lovelorn son, Thom, off at boarding school, John Steinbeck writes: “If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.” Steinbeck may be speaking directly about love here, but his philosophy can easily be extrapolated to anything that we value or work towards. What if we surrendered to “running out of time” as simply what it is, some societal construction in the ether, and slowed down a little bit. If it is right, it will happen in due course. 

For example, most of us won’t find or create our “dream jobs” right out of the gate. Today highly successful individuals in their given fields are leaving their corporate jobs to become “minterns” or “millennial interns” into their 30s. These minterns are taking significant pay cuts and lower professional status rankings in order to learn, grow, and become more deeply fulfilled in their careers. According to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Millennial Survey, within the next two years, 49% of millennials will quit their current jobs. Furthermore, according to the survey, 57% of millennials and Gen Zs value experience, and seeing the world, over all other aspirations (including owning a home!).

Are we shifting into a world closer aligned to reality, where it truly is never too late to start? In the midst of a world that often appears to be crumbling before us, maybe this is something positive that we can all hold on to. 

We hold no preconceived perception at Unsettled that it is ever too late for anything. Come join our community today. 

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