Discontentment has kept me going through life. And “kept me going” is an understatement; truly, discontentment has allowed me to live a life I've always felt was fulfilling and exciting, despite hardships and trials. As a result, I'm often uneasy after conversations I've had over the past two years. I've met with my 20something peers over sips of weak coffee and mouthfuls of tortilla chips from cheap but delicious Mexican restaurants to try and figure out our lives. Some of my friends have found jobs that are satisfying most days, but I have other friends in transition. To mention all of our personal struggles and heartbreak resulting from failed romantic relationships would take pages. That is to say nothing of the struggle to figure out how we want to live our lives outside of classrooms and away from professors, parents, and home churches.
It is the best of times and the worst of times.
Despite the diversity of all of my friends and their individual circumstances, there is one common thread running between their stories and mine: a sense of discontentment.
Can Discontentment Be a Good Thing?
What confuses and disturbs me most about hearing about my friends’ discontentment is the guilt and shame they carry around because of it. Some are vocal about how badly they feel because they lie in bed at night, utterly discontent with their jobs, their roommates, their relationship, and post-grad life in general. They seem frustrated and lost. So I, ever the fixer, ask what I can do to help them: Are they stressed? Sick? Eagerly anticipating new episodes of Downton Abbey? They smile, shake their heads, and say, “I don’t know.”1