Getting married to someone you barely know because you have to make it work…out of shame she got pregnant out of wedlock; to fulfil religious or family expectations; because you feel like you are running out of time.
Working in that job because it pays the bills…because at the time it was the only option; it was comfortable; it was too risky to do something different.
Staying in that job for decades…because its comfortable; feels too risky to leave; the countdown to retirement has already begun.
Having young children and barely having enough time to spend the waking hours with them…because work is demanding; you need the money; you are at that point in your career where you really have to prove yourself in order to advance (maybe one day, be even the Boss).
Feeling the financial crunch as you are somehow making ends meet…childcare is expensive; the mortgage is expensive; bills keep adding up; discretionary spending is the reason you keep working; savings are the leftovers.
As your children get older, their interest get more expensive and they care less about you…so you continue working hard to support their interests; you spend you money on vacations for stints of quality family time; you are trying to find a way to save for their orthodontic work and hopefully their education.
Your children get older and you don’t really know who they are…they appear easily influenced by their peers; experimenting with sex and drugs; they aren’t concerned at all for their own future.
Your own parents are ageing rapidly…you worry if their condition is hereditary; you are angry with them for being so stubborn; they are needy and demanding and you feel like you are still disappointing them; you try to muster up the finances so you can hire medical support.
You receive news that your recent routine test results are suspect…the timing is very bad because you have children who need to to take them to hockey after school; you have parents that need a grocery shop; your boss needs to to complete an assignment.
You don’t want to be ill…you regret not taking better care of your body; you regret your shitty genetics; you are fearful if you are going to pass it on to your own children.
Your spouse looses their job…you are angry that they invested their entire career with one company only to find that their loyal was all for naught; you wonder if you can live off of that measly severance in your retirement; you realize you can definitely not afford a divorce.
You hate your job and finally getting the courage to think about leaving that job…but the pension is secure; retirement is so close; the routine is comfortable.
Your friends start dropping like flies…slow degenerative diseases; accidents; cancer; heart attacks and strokes.
You look forward to retirement in hopes of starting the life you always wanted.
Retirement is impending and should you be so lucky to be in decent physical and mental health; your kids still like you; and, have anything in common with your spouse, you start wondering how to fill those empty days.
As those days get closer, you start realizing you have no personality beyond the roles you were playing that had previously defined you; your hobbies and interest seem to be limited by your bank account and it turns out you have no friends outside of that job.
Waking up in a cold sweat, disorientated and afraid.
Realizing that this is the reality for so many- but hopefully it can be curbed.
Millennials are desperate to find meaning and purpose so their lives are not simply a means to an end. The road paved with good intentions by their parents looks terrifying.