I love learning about people’s quirks. Everyone has a million little things that make them unique. So I thought we would explore that a little further this month. I asked the princesses to talk about a unique passion that they have. What something that we […]
Millenials: who do we think we are? Who does everyone else think we are? What defines our generation? What are the misconceptions about our generation?
I guess I am not sure what attributes our generation are normally given. Of the ones I know, I would say most of them seem more or less true to me. We are obsessed with technology and spend way too much time online or on our phones. Yup- pretty much true. We expect things to be easy; we haven’t had to live through either of the world wars or the great depression. Well… at least from my own experience that is more or less true. We are more mobile; we are less likely to be content to settle in one place and want to see the world. In my experience, that is pretty true– I even live in England now. However, necessarily these observations are only generalizations. And of course there is the question of who we are talking about when we say ‘our generation’ anyway. I think in reality we are talking more or less only about an American (and perhaps European) phenomenon rather than anything universal. However, even considered on this smaller scale, a generation is a huge and unfathomable thing. No two people are the same and certainly a whole generation isn’t going to be the same. So, I wouldn’t want to push ‘generational’ attitudes on anyone. Honestly, I rarely feel sidelined or judged for being part of particular generation. Maybe this comes in part from being in a field of study so archaic and backward looking— from the perspective of a thousand years or more, a generation is blink of an eye: hardly worth bothering about.
I feel that people are obsessed with analyzing our generation. The “millenials” . How has the internet changed who they are as humans and culture? The me generation that only cares about Facebook and taking selfies.
My main problem with all of this is that our generation is more than the internet, but that’s all anyone can focus on. Has the internet changed our society? Of course it has, but that doesn’t mean that is the only thing defining us. Lots of things are different for our generation: politics, education, economy. The list goes on and on. I think the media wants to put our generation in a neat little box, but that is stupid and impossible. Of course, I guess that’s the problem with all stereotypes. No one can really be put in a box.
I actually try really hard to not let Facebook rule my life, and I’m not really a fan of selfies or the fact that they are called selfies. I do use the internet all the time, but I also love getting away from the internet and spending time in nature with no connection to anything but the sound of the wind in the trees. And, although I am definitely not perfect at it, I try really hard to continuously care about other people more than myself. It’s impossible to use one overarching definition for a huge group of people.
What do people think of our generation? I actually wrote a post about this a few years ago now (can you believe we’ve been going that long?!) and I still have as much trouble now as I did then with getting a hold of our generation. I know the people below us are tech obsessed and the people above us are lazy, but who are we? I guess we’re a little bit of both, entitled and unaware, but in many ways I feel like we’re also strong and intelligent, brave and kind. We’re the first generation to be openly supportive of all sexual orientations, the first generation to grow up with Mr. Rogers preaching kindness and generosity. We know what it’s like to live without technology, but also know the merits of it.
What I’d say we’re most incorrectly known for is being the boomerang generation, not to say that the facts of that stereotype aren’t true. Out of everyone before and after us, we return to live at home after high school way, way more. Fact. But I don’t think it is because we’re lazy, or afraid, or entitled, or unprepared for the real world; I think it is because we know the value of money and are smart enough to see that in order to live the worthwhile and fun life we’ve been taught to expect, while also preparing ourselves for a secure career and financial future – it is the best way to really have it all. Living at home isn’t a failure if it allows you to live a life that is completely unattainable otherwise. Supportive parents are just a bonus. I don’t want to work or play, I want to do both and the fact that being a boomerang kid has allowed me to do that is a pretty huge success I think.
To be honest, I can’t think of too many stereotypes about my generation, most likely because I’m a part of it myself, not someone judging from the outside. Sex, race, religion—those are the things I think I’m most likely to be judged for…but generation? I had to stop and think. Truly the only thing that came to mind is that some people think we millennials are lazy. But when I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that this stereotype is only partially true.
Some millennials are lazy and think everything in life should be handed to them. There’s a bit of this in me, too. I lived a charmed, easy childhood, never wanting for anything important, and since then things have continued to come fairly easily to me: a spouse, degrees, jobs—I’m not climbing the corporate ladder by any means, but I’ve been successful in the things I’ve tried to do, for the most part. However, it’s not as if I never had to work for anything. I think my parents did manage to instill in me a decent work ethic. I might slack off on the dishes occasionally, but when push comes to shove, I’m willing to work to get what I want. I can’t say that the stereotype is completely bogus, though. Multiple people come to mind when I think of lazy millennials who just aren’t willing to work, including my youngest brother. He failed at college, dropped out of the military, and searched for his first job for well over a year before he finally got one. But these days, even though he is finally employed, he complains about how his job requires him to stand on his feet all day, and it’s boring! Other examples come to mind as well, including several dead-beat dads my age who would rather smoke weed than hold a job or parent their children.
But I can also think of many millennials who work harder than just about anyone. One of my high school classmates made the unfortunate life choice of marrying one of those aforementioned dead-beats. Now, two kids and a divorce later, she’s had her tubes tied, owns a house, holds a full-time job to support her kids, and has primary custody of them. She does it all despite not having a college degree and with very little help from family members and almost zero support from her ex. Or, take my husband’s coworker, who stays late at the office an extra hour or two (or three) almost every night, and sends my husband messages about work on the weekends. There’s a reason that guy is a shoe-in for a promotion this year; he deserves it because he works extremely hard.
I think it’s natural for older people to consider us lazy or privileged, in part because our lives have been a bit easier due to advances in technology. But this is inevitable; someday we’ll be the old farts telling our kids that “it was a lot harder when I was your age.” Not all millennials are slackers, there’s just a sizeable percentage of us who still need to grow up.
It’s so hard to live in the moment. So often we find ourselves wishing for the golden years that were, or yearning for a future that holds something better. So this month I thought we should discuss where we find ourselves right now. Are we living in the past, the present, or the future? And is that what we really want?
Wow, hello 2015! Can you believe we’re this far into the 21st century already? It seems like not so long ago people were freaking out about the millennium and Y2K. My husband is currently sitting next to me on the couch reading off a list of uncomfortable, yet true, facts about the year 2015. For example, the movies Silence of the Lambs, Hook, and Father of the Bride were in theaters on a date closer to the moon landing than to today. I don’t know about you, but New Year’s isn’t a favorite holiday of mine, because it lends itself so easily to feelings of lost youth, the passage of time, etc. But still, I can’t change the fact that a new year has dawned, and, for the most part, I am very excited and forward-thinking about all that’s yet to come for me.
I always have something I’m looking forward to, to the point that I actually downloaded a countdown app for my phone so I can always know exactly how many days are left until whatever: my wedding, our next vacation, a visit from family, etc. These days one thing I’m longing for is the summer, when I’ll be able to come home and visit everyone for the first time in a year. I had a great Christmas staying overseas and traveling with my hubby and his parents, but July still feels like a LONG time from now, and that’s starting to wear on me a bit. Having my in-laws visit also touched a nerve that shows itself from time to time: the desire to move home for good. It was just so nice to sit around the table with family…now with them gone again I’m looking forward to moving home more than ever, though not enough to actually do anything about it—yet.
I’m also just going to put this out there: 2015 just might be the year I get pregnant. This is the year I turn 27 and my husband turns 28, and I start the last year of my teaching contract here. These things all add up to what might be a great time to start a family. So yes, I’ve got a ton to look forward to in 2015 and beyond. More travel, visiting family, coming home for good someday, and becoming a mom. With all that in mind though, I still have to remind myself that I am where I am for a reason. It’s hard to live in the moment, but since this is the season for goals and resolutions, I might as well add that one to the list.
I’ve been soul searching a lot lately, doing anything I can think of to figure out which career path is right for me, and while I spend more and more time attempting to think of my future, in reality the more pressure I put on myself to decide the further I feel from it. Lately I just can’t see where I’m going, just can’t see anything past tomorrow. I keep waking up from nightmares of insecurity in not only my professional capacity but personal as well, freaked out because if I‘m not proud of myself neither is anyone else. Why can’t I just live in the present for a few minutes to help me figure things out?
But I’m not living in the past either, though it’s definitely not for lack of trying. I’ve been attempting to scrapbook my high school things and over Christmas a ton of my old friends came back to visit. I’ve been going through the old motions like I used to, but as much as I love living in the past I just can’t connect as well as I used to. Something was off this week, my wave length just that much different from all my friends. I said dumb things and cried more than usual, felt overly sensitive and while we all had fun, it wasn’t the same as it used to be, it wasn’t even the same as last year. I know living in the past isn’t great for me, but it’s important to me to be able to get back there when I need to. What does it mean that this week I couldn’t?
So I guess my answer is that I’m living in the moment, but pretty unhappy about it. Unhappy is the wrong word because I’ve been busy and distracted and generally jovial, but I feel guilty for not being able to relate to my high school friends as well as I used to, for not keeping in touch with college friends as well as I want to, for losing my confidence and for not knowing how to move forward like I know everyone else is.
I wouldn’t really call this a season of longing for me. There are many good times in my past, but I couldn’t say I am longing for any of them.. not in particular. Neither am I longing for the future.. I mean, I hope my future will hold many good things, but I wouldn’t trade in this moment now to find out. Really, I am very happy where I am now. I am starting into the third year of my PhD and I still love it. From the beginning, everyone warned me ‘are you sure you really want to do a PhD? By the end you’ll be sick of it.’ But I really love what I study and the environment where I study. I am also pretty happy in the rest of my life. Each season of life has its own trials, but this one has been a really good one. So yeah, I am happy where I am and wouldn’t trade it in! I am just hoping the days don’t pass too fast.
I am definitely in a season of looking ahead. I have been frustrated and feeling stuck in my current job for so long now. And I finally decided to take a risk. I was offered a position with a hotel, but they wanted me to start at the bottom and work my way up again. I was torn for a long time about it. I may be unhappy at my current work, but I can’t guarantee that the new company will be a lot better. Plus I have to take a pay cut. But everyone I talked to thought it seemed like a good opportunity. Today I accept ed the offer and signed papers. It seems surreal and very very scary. I still find myself asking what the hell am I doing? Why leave comfort and predictability? But I have to look ahead and hope that everything is working out the way it should. I believe that this new job may offer me more possibilities in the future, but of course I don’t know. None of us ever know for sure. Living is risky business. I find myself wishing I had a crystal ball. Can’t I jump ahead a year and see if I’m happy or unhappy or if my plans worked out the way I’d hoped? But then, things never work out exactly as we think they will. And that’s terrifying and exciting all at the same time. So please, wish me luck.
I’m writing this from my phone as I sit in the lobby of a hotel I’m not staying at, because it’s the only place near Bryce canyon that has a tv showing Monday night football. And I am blissfully happy. Getting away is just what I needed.
I have seen more incredible beauty in the last week than words or pictures would ever be able to accurately describe. And I also got to spend some quality time with Sleeping booty. All I have to say is that if you have never spent time in any national parks, you need to now. My husband and I are so in love that we started talking about becoming park rangers and spending our whole lives surrounded by incredible nature. When you hike down into a canyon, climb out on a ledge and just gaze out letting the silence envelop you and the wind whip around you, it is utter perfection. And you have to hike to make it worth it because it’s only when you get away a little bit that you can avoid the giant throngs of tourists and really appreciate the nature fully.
I feel like I can’t fully express my feelings in words. You just have to experience it yourself. I don’t really know how I’m going to be able to go back to real life after this. But I’ve still got another week and I’m going to enjoy it.
I know everyone is probably sick of hearing me post about work. But unfortunately, it continues to be the eternal thorn in my side. For the longest time, work was stressful because we were so understaffed and I was doing multiple positions by myself. Now […]
I feel like I haven’t been posting on the blog much recently. Of course I can give the excuse that I’ve been “busy”( refer to my many posts about the chaos at my work), but that excuse is lame. What I’ve started to realize over the past week is that I’ve fallen prey to the ‘keep your head down’ syndrome.
With everything being so crazy lately, I haven’t been taking any real time to myself, and more importantly, I haven’t been taking any time to stop and think. It’s been get up, go to work, be very busy, come home tired, try to exercise, go to sleep, repeat. It’s an endless cycle that isn’t very satisfying and isn’t very fun either. I wouldn’t say that I’m unhappy, but I would say I’m stuck in monotony without a clear path out. What I could really use is a vacation, but I won’t be able to go anywhere for at least another 2 months.
That’s a big part of why I haven’t been writing. I sit down at the computer and I think, there’s nothing happening in my life. This week is exactly the same as the one before it, except this Monday I made steak instead of chicken. But then another part of me thinks, geez what am I complaining for? My life is too boring? Talk about First World Problems.
But whether my complaints are valid or not, I’ve decided I need to consciously start dreaming again. Start exploring. I shouldn’t just go to the mall on my day off because it’s easy. I want to go on a new hike, explore a town I’ve never been to-even just go to a different restaurant. I may not be able to control the insanity of my work life, but I can control what I do in my life outside of work. I’ve become too unbalanced lately. While my husband was travelling for a month, I think I let my whole life be work, because then I didn’t have to think about how much I missed him. And at the same time, I was feeling sorry that reality and finances were keeping me from all of the places far and wide that I’ve really dreamed of going. But now he’s back, and I will drag him right along with me. I may not have much money, and I may not be able to go far, but that won’t stop me from making the most out of my free time. I want to start spending more time outside of the house than in it. I need to momentarily check out of reality in order to keep my sanity.