Joyce Huang

Perspective

Month: November 2015

Society’s Crazy Demands Of Our Generation

Society’s demands on our generation are crazy.

I graduated at age 24, slightly older than my peers because I spent an extra year in university for exchange programs. I’m 28 now, just shy of 2 years to hitting the big 30, but it made me think a lot about what I’m expected to achieve by then.

I’ve always thought of 30 as a definitive milestone in life. This is the age where you are supposed to know what you want to do with your life. By now you are expected to have found a life partner, bought a house, get married, have your first kid, achieved some sort of career milestone, lived out all your crazy adventures such as travelling the world, or exited your startup by selling it for millions.

Maybe it’s because of the pressure from friends that I hang out with, or the people I look up to, but damn, that’s a lot to have accomplish by 30. When I look at what I’ve done, it’s easy to feel dejected. Wtf have I achieved? I haven’t started my own company and I’m definitely not any closer to earning millions. I think a lot of people my age feel the same way.

Nobody told me that I’d only have 6 years before I would be expected to accomplish all these feats. And it’s crazy – this rat race.

I’m trying to focus on the things that I have accomplished. Travelled around the world for a year, found someone who I can live the rest of my life with. Be on track to buy a house. Found work at an exciting startup with big dreams. But it never seems to be enough.

Crazy, right?

Welcome to November

IMG_2279Welcome to November. My plans to have read more this year have gone severely awry. But one of the things that have disappointed me the most is that I’ve failed to read more.

I’ve been making it a point to read more fiction instead of the regular self-help books. I just finished Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In my head I kept picturing the voices as they were in the movie, but I realised that there were so many details left out from the wonderful book because of time.

Jane Austen had such a clear, critical perspective of life in her days. In Mr. Darcy’s pride, you recognize that money can’t buy everything, particularly, Elizabeth’s respect at the start of the book. It’s only towards the end, when he started acting out of love to help her that they grew fond of each other and won her heart. For Elizabeth, her prejudice against him made her blind to the wrongs that Darcy had had to endure with Mr. Wickham, and in the end it was her own sister that would suffer from her prejudices.

It’s interesting how a story can help you learn lessons.

From Pride and Prejudice, I learnt that a couple has to learn together to become the best versions of themselves. I think it’s naive to say that, “if you love me, you will accept me as I am.” A large part is realising that you are wrong, and wanting to improve.

It might have had a good ending, but it’s also far from a fairy tale. I’ve never seen so much critique in a love story about the effects of money in society and it’s power in determining who we should love. I do feel she’s a romantic at heart, because in the end the love Elizabeth and Darcy had far outdoes the pragmatic kind of love that Charlotte opted for when she decided to settle down with the annoying Mr. Collins.

Jane Austen was an excellent judge of character, reminding us that it’s more important to be a moral character, than a rich one.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén