I’m turning 31 on the 7th. That means that I was born in 1986. That means that I, and my husband, are Millennials.
I get that we have a bad name. I hear the word ‘special snowflake’ thrown around, along with ‘safe spaces’ and ‘Boomerang Generation’. We’re the generation that embraced out nerdy side, created crazy social media platforms and way over share. We made the Kardashians stars. We may not have invented reality tv, but we took it and ran with it. We can’t stop buying back our own childhood, over and over.
I’m actually sick to death of this whole mentality that my generation is full of weak-willed children who can’t deal with the real world. Yeah, there’s a good amount of that out there, but there always has been. We’re dealing with a lot, and we’ve done a lot. Here’s what the world actually looks like to a Millennial.
We are in a bad place, financially.
Let me throw some numbers at you from previous years with this handy chart.
Here’s a link to the full article that explains, in detail, how much we’re all kind of screwed financially. Yes, we’re all living with this. The difference is that people my age are living with it, children, aging parents who can no longer take care of themselves and crippling student loan debts. Yeah, some people are moving back in with their parents. A lot of other people are having their parents move in with them. So maybe keep in mind that the ‘lazy Millennial’ who can’t afford to buy a car probably has a lot more to deal with financially than her parents did when they were in their thirties.
We’re breaking all of the rules.
And I’m loving it! We’ve changed the face of ‘Family’. We’ve boosted Youtube people to stardom. We don’t wait for people to tell us we can do something like start a business or get published. We just go out and do it. I’m a great example of this. My youthful impatience pushed me to publish my own books.
A lot of have jobs that didn’t even exist for generations before because we decided to invent them. We’re not waiting for permission to do what we want.
We really like a lot of the things from our childhood. That’s why they’re coming back.
I actually started writing this blog post about Bill Nye Saves The World. It’s on Netflix and I love it. Watching that show feels like I’m hanging out with an uncle who remembers how I was as a kid but understands that I’m a grown up now.
Look all around and you’ll see examples of Millennials bringing back things from their childhood. Why? Because they’re cool and we like them. We crowdfunded Mystery Science Theater 3000 because we wanted it back.
We decided that we didn’t have to give up the things we liked about being kids when we became adults. Let’s take me as an example. I work a full-time job and financially support my family of four. My husband and I keep a house, raise two kids and are becoming increasingly responsible for older family members. I also publish several books a year.
Can I please watch Bill Nye and have an ice cream without being judged?! Is it so terrible if I want to play video games after a long (long long) day? How about if I just want to chill out with a coloring book? Can you really say that’s less healthy than crashing in front of some ‘grown up’ show or a game show?
We actually have a scary good work ethic. It’s just not the same kind of work ethic as generations before us.
Yeah, Millennials invented all sorts of terms that, frankly, offend me as a writer and lover of the English language. The next person who says YOLO to me is going to find out how right they are.
But you know what other phrase Millennials invented? Side Hustle.
As in, “I have a full-time job, but I don’t really want to do this my whole life. So I’m not going to pour my time and energy into a job so that I can get promoted and do more work that I don’t really love. I’m going to go to work and do my job, and do it well. But I’m going to have this thing on the side that I really do love. Someday this will be how I make my money. But for now, it’s my side hustle.”
And we’re hustling. We’re taking up our evenings and weekends. We’re working our eight hours, then putting in way more to our passions. We know that living our free and independent lives means work. But when it’s work we love, who cares? I don’t really mind getting up before work to write because I love writing. Millennials are starting their own businesses in the wee hours of the morning, the late nights. We’re creating companies while sitting in coffee shops. We’re writing and producing music while our kids are napping. We’re building the lives we want.
If we are putting up with some stupid behavior, it’s because we want to be good to people and are going overboard.
Look, I’m not thrilled about the people who want to say they’re foxes or dragons or spiders. I’m also really not thrilled with people who claim to be ‘triggered’ all the damn time. I don’t believe we need ‘safe spaces’ on campus where people don’t have to interact with others who might disagree with them.
I do love that having a mental illness isn’t seen as a weakness. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, self-harm, PTSD, Postpartum depression and any number of other issues talk about their diseases openly and honestly. I try to do that here, talking about how my depression and anxiety impact my life and how I manage them. If some posers who don’t really have issues pretend to for attention, I can live with that. It pisses me off. But I’d rather have that and give the people who are really sick the support.
I love that people are free to embrace who we are. I am fully in support of the transgender community and think it’s great that they’re doing what they want to do with their own bodies.
I don’t love that we’re so worried about offending people that we’re policing each other and becoming way oversensitive. But I do consider it acceptable to people throwing around racist slurs like it’s acceptable behavior. (Though I really think we need to find a happy medium. For real, people, learn to take a joke.)
This is how I feel about my own generation. But I’d love to hear from you. I know that some of you reading this are from my generation. Some of you are from older generations. So please let us know. What do you think of the Millennials? What do you think of your own generation? Let us know in the comments below.
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