Is this my final form?
The title of this post, was adapted from a phrase used in a cartoon that was popular during my childhood - Dragon Ball Z. I hated that cartoon so much; not only because I didn’t really get anime at that age, but also because it had completely taken over the school. All my friends would spend their free time drawing Dragon Ball Z characters and having “paper wars” with the characters’ cut outs. But I digress … the line the villain used to use in Dragon Ball Z was “this isn’t even my final form…wait til you see my true power”.
That’s poignant. Almost 20 years later - a cartoon I loathed is providing a shining light to my path. The irony of life.
[To find out a bit more about the quote’s Dragon Ball Z history, click here]
Is this my final form?
We are the generation that should be carefree - at least that’s what they make us out to be. But in reality, we are more worried than our parents (and maybe even our grandparents) would have ever been. The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that millennials are feeling uneasy about the future. “They feel pessimistic about the prospects for political and social progress, along with concerns about safety, social equality and environmental sustainability” (source).
According to this Huffington Post Canada article, one of the top 6 topics Millennials discuss in therapy is their inability to make a decision/ fear of making the wrong decision. Worrying about making the right choice. I think we have become so hyper-aware of how human choices have affected the Earth (i.e.: climate change) and how decisions we make today can affect the future - that we feel it is our responsibility to make the right choices. The right choices, not only for our own lives but the right choice as citizens of a community… citizens of a country…citizens of the world.
In addition to this hyper-awareness, there are also a MULTIPLICITY of choices now. When our grandparents were growing up there were like a handful of careers; perhaps that became two handfuls by the time our parents grew up, but now…possibilities are endless.
Have you ever gone to an all you can eat buffet? The days or weeks leading up to your visit you try to have a plan in place. Trying to strategize your approach to the courses. How can you achieve maximum results? Then, when you actually get to the buffet, you see the tables and tables of choices…and then your plan goes out the window. Panic sets in. You are no longer confident. You begin to worry about whether your plan was a good choice; is there a better choice? You start thinking about all your other all-you-can-eat experiences and comparing their successes and failures in order to compare your plan - what do you change; what do you tweak? In the end you were so overwhelmed with choices you didn’t know what to do or where to start. So you decided to wing it or let’s say you tweaked your plan and tackled the buffet. Regardless of the plan (whether it was improvised or well thought out), at the end of the buffet experience you’ll regret something; whether it’s eating too much food, or not having enough of a food item, or not using the time better. There is always something that you second guess.
And this (in a nutshell) is the Millennial experience.
We are inundated with choices, we weigh these choices with the current climate; with the situations our parents may have been in; with our own passions and desires; with the social construct of happiness and prosperity…and the list goes on, causing this anxiety over making any choices.
The fear of disappointment and the dreaded feeling associated with being wrong (which by far supersedes disappointment and is so pervasive it cannot be named) seems to be the end of a bad decision. In all the scenarios we have played out in our heads. That’s where it ends. One bad decision and bloop “you are the weakest link, goodbye”.
That crippling mixture of fear and ignorance keep us stationary. So, there may be things we want to see, experience, and achieve but because of all of this, we become stagnant. Then, after a while in this place of no movement (in this vacuum) we begin to wonder - “is this my final form”? Usually followed by “what happens next”?
What we have failed to see though, is there is immense value in bad decisions. Everything we have ever learned has been because of bad decisions. I learned not to touch the face of an iron when its plugged in, after I was burnt - because I thought I could withstand the heat of the iron face (this was an epic fail).
We can appreciate good because we have experienced the bad. We value honesty, because we have experienced being lied to. Friendships are important because we remember what is was like to be lonely. There is value in every bad experience…in every bad choice.
Beyond the disappointment lies lessons and futures unknown. How will we know what lies behind if we don’t try…and be wrong/right….and fail/win…and accept the results (no matter what).
The word final sounds so … final; like the termination of your life’s journey. And you are far from it !
As long as you are still on this Earth you are evolving; growing; contributing. There is no final…only evolution. There is no final…you’re always growing.
— short answer: no, this is not your final form; honey, we’ve just begun!