My Generation: Finding the Difference Between Deserving and Earning

So, I have to be honest. I was dreading this day. As a kid (including time in my early 20’s), turning 30 meant being on the edge of ancient.

I am at the edge and I don’t feel ancient.

I feel a little wobbly on the edge of a precipice.

How do I get across?

Over the course of the past decade, I have jam packed a lot of life experience (drama most definitely included). I wanted to accomplish as much as I could in my early years to rise above the rest. I wanted desperately to distinguish myself from others before, I felt, it was too late and my light dimmed. Never shying away from goals, I pushed beyond my limits…always seeking to out due myself…and deserving of rewards.

Now, I know I have ranted about the despicable uprising of narcissism I have noticed in those younger, but I can’t deny, that I too thought I could conquer the world at a very young age…and I still have my moments when I think I just might do so. However, I did not feel entitled for the sake of being so or thought people should be blessed to be in my very presence. No, I worked hard…and the more people told me I couldn’t have what I wanted, the harder I fought for it. I deserved the promotion…I deserved a bonus…I deserved.

Those were my claims. People owed me.

Since my 29th birthday, I have felt a little lost. What can I accomplish now? How can I rise above those newer and shinier than me? Then it hit me. I have fought so hard to achieve, not for me, but for the sake of others. Now, I have to take what I have learned and find my way across the precipice. Because this time, what I do, is for me. I have to earn my way across. I have to build the bridge with my two hands and the relationships I forge. I cannot let my focus or honesty falter. The rewards, what I will now earn, I will discover along the way. People do not owe me. I owe me.

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  • Laura P Thomas

    Happy birthday Lauren! The best part of crossing that threshold from trying so hard to prove yourself to working more for yourself, is that each year brings more confidence and less fear. Speaking from the other side of 40 … it feels great! :-)

  • Kellye Crane

    This post is the perfect example of why we say “older, but wiser!” There are hard lessons to be learned in one’s 20s, and because of that, most of us would never want to go back. Congrats on making it to this side of the precipice — hope you celebrate this with a very happy birthday!!

  • Sherry Carr-Smith

    Growing into yourself is hard. I’m proud of you for the professional you are, the woman you are, the friend you are, and most definitely the mom you are. I look forward to watching you earn your way across and learning from you while you do!

  • Lauren

    I am morphing self into an owl. What a hoot!

  • Vargaslmv

    Thank you, my friend. We still find ourselves growing up, don’t we? ;)

  • Lauren

    Looking forward to that, Laura. Thank you for being there to guide me too.

  • Laura Fitton

    beautiful framing of earned vs. deserved Lauren. thank you for this.

  • cloverdew

    I owe me, too. Such an important thing to know and remember.