One of my friends recently pointed out I’m going through a quarter-life crisis, that we (our group of friends) all are. And I can see where he’s coming from. We’re all in our mid-twenties and we seem to permanently be at a crossroads. Transcending from adolescence into adulthood (it’s… a process) – changing, adapting, compromising.
The other day I had a moment. I was sat in my living room, going over 2017 with my housemate Clive when I brought up climate change. I started talking about this thing I’d read in the news, the Larson C ice shelf. A 5,000 sq km wide, 300 m thick piece of ice getting ready to break off from Antarctica and become an iceberg; an event that might raise global sea levels by ten centimetres.
“Shit man, it’s happening,” said Clive. To which I nonchalantly spat back something along the lines of: “I don’t even care anymore. We’ll be dead by the time this planet becomes inhospitable”
There was a pause and I added: “I can’t believe I just said that”.
I was gonna clean up the plastic from our oceans. Holly would find a cure for cancer, Theo would create a new anarcho-cryptocurrency, Mischa would eradicate malaria, and Josh would become a rockstar.
But now we’re all sat around a table, eating our gourmet burgers, with sides of whatever the latest vegetable trend is and we talk about how the world is fucked. How we all feel the flight rather than the fight instinct kicking in.
And maybe it’s understandable to feel this way right now. The past year has been one bitch of a year.
And maybe you’re muttering “Wake up hun – you’re not a unique snowflake. You can’t change the world”. But fuck that. Cause the world doesn’t need me to change. The world changes regardless of what I will or will not think and do. Just look at 2016.
Yes, there was a lot of death and destruction. But if you look up, you’ll see a second moon now orbiting the Earth (kind of), a newly discovered prime number, and gravitational waves. You’ll see that tiger numbers rose for the first time in over a century. You’ll see that Austria didn’t allow rightwing populism to take hold quite yet.
So what if we’re not all unique snowflakes capable of changing the world? Some will be lucky and determined enough to do so. The least the rest of us can do is keep our heads up, and root for them.