A HOPEFUL FATIGUE TO END THE 2010s
Okay, I know that there are still technically two months left to this year (and this decade), but it feels like we're all already looking back on this decade in retrospect, taking stock of what happened, what themes emerged, what we want to carry with us going forward and what we hope to leave behind.
It would be an absurdly audacious feat to try and cram a retrospective of an entire decade into a single post, but we did want to talk about the overwelming mood that seems to permeate the end of 2019 ... because we're f'ing tired. As individuals. As a society. We're tired and we're finally starting to admit it.
We spent the past decade trying to craft the perfect life, optimizing at every turn, putting on a show for others both online and off, spending an exorbitant amount of money on ridiculous hacks in the name of wellness, self-care and betterment. Workouts didn't count if we didn't come out dripping sweat and having burned a certain number of calories. Skincare became selfcare. All of our food now comes as 'nutrient-rich' bowls. We're expected to sleep our exact 8 hours a night on perfectly crafted linens, meditate first thing, exercise, have a healthy breakfast, work long but effiicent hours and still make time for after work drinks and evening plans with friends....
... All in the name of wellness, self-care.
We were told we would be the most perfectly optimized humans.
This decade was about uplifting the individual to achieve some higher aspirational version of ourselves. But instead of coming out of it happier, healthier, more financially secure and with stable relationships, a lot of us are lonely. It's not necessarily a deep depression loneliness (though that's also on the rise), but more of a general fatigue and lethargy. Like no matter what we do, it's never enough. Spend more, buy more, work harder, it's never enough. That gray cloud follows us around.
We're fatigued. And it's okay to admit it.
Which is what makes us hopeful. Collectively, we're starting to look for a way out. We're starting to demand something different, something actually nourishing to the mind, the body and the soul.
No one has the answer yet. Some suggest that the people who got us into this mess are the ones to get us out of it - the founders of Gin Lane, the famous marketing team behind brands like Everlane and Sweetgreen, have now pivoted. Gin Lane has become Pattern and tackling burnout is their primary mission. The "getting real" post on Instagram is on the rise. Is capitalism the thing to save us from the capitalists? Who knows.
But it's clear we want more. We want wellness to actually mean wellbeing. We want communtiy to exist online and offline. We want to feel connected, to feel human again. We want to get off the ride. There's hope to this moment.
There's hope that at the end of this decade, in the middle of all the fatigue and lethargy, we'll find a way out. It starts with each of us asking for more and with companies that finally start listening.
We're here to listen. Here's to looking ahead!
Katie & Christine