I perhaps have a too much of a visibility complex. I want to be visible. I equate visibility with success.
I’m not the only one either. In fact, older generations like to call mine the “me” generation, and they mean to be condescending. They think it is a proclivity to look in the mirror to much. To post photos of oneself too much. To show people we are living, when we aren’t really — too caught up in recording everything, just to give off a fake illusion of a successful life. It’s not a new idea that social media is a breeding ground for unhealthy comparison and even false information.
But that need for visibility – I don’t think that’s so wrong.
Because right now I’m dealing with the fact that I have a college degree and no one wants to hire me. And there are so many others like me out there that are dealing with the same thing. We followed the formula for success and are repeatedly told that we need to do more. And most of the time, it feels as though all that work I did — the all-nighters, the days of three rehearsals, the theses and presentations and god-forsaken group projects — was all a waste.
And even though I know I’m not the only one dealing with this, it feels like that 99.9% of the time. I forget about all those other people when I’m lying awake at night, trying to shut my brain off as it keeps whispering, “You’re a failure,” over and over and over again.
I like to read memoirs of the people whose jobs I want. But they always skip their twenties. And maybe that means this gray period won’t matter very much in the long run. But it sure feels important right now.
It’s been my experience that no one really wants to talk about their success or how they got to where they are. It’s like it’s this big secret that successful people keep to themselves because if we all knew it, then there wouldn’t been enough to go around. If I have to hear “Fake it till you make it,” or “I’m in my fifties and still figuring out what I want to do,” I will probably implode and I’ll take you all down with me.
I also understand it is rare to see a successful twenty-something. They are enigmas. Because we aren’t supposed to have everything figured out yet. And while that frustrates me to no end, I get it. But maybe that’s what the visibility thing is all about. We measure success through a smaller lens – through likes on Instagram, views on Youtube, or comments on Facebook. It’s just a reminder that people are still watching and waiting to see what you’ll do next. And that’s nice sometimes.
It’s the only place where we get to see each other. It may not be the full picture but it’s a place to share successes, however small, to ask for advice, and to offer up opinions.
That’s why I like blogging. I started this blog about two years ago one day when I was feeling particularly alone in my unknowing, but I felt propelled to share. What I wanted in that moment was for someone to see me. And I wanted to hear some stories from the other twenty-somethings out there, whether or not you were going through the same things as I was. Because this time in our lives matters, even if it won’t be in our memoirs one day.
Photo found at Kaboompics