I’ve been wanting to write this piece for a while now, i just never know where to start.
Being twenty three, i live in a generation where it’s okay to break up with the girl you love because things get a little too hard. I live in a generation where guys think it’s okay to leave behind a child they helped create, and no one bats an eye. I live in a generation where if you’re twenty three and single, you’re not living up to the hype. They say when you turn eighteen is when you become an adult, but i have to differ. I think it’s the age when you have to decide if the things you spend so much time creating like relationships, friendships, and careers, are worth it. Everything i do right now will create my future. And that my friends, scares the shit out of me. I’m constantly asking myself before I make a choice, if it’s the right one for me. I know life is all about trial and error but for heavens sake, sometimes i feel like i’m losing my mind. My friends and I often joke how “adulting” is hard. I mean yeah we get it: you get a good job, you get your own place, meet a nice guy, start a family and live happily ever after. But you see, life does not work that way. Hate to break it to ya.
Millennials are constantly getting picked on as the lazy generation. The generation where everyone got a trophy growing up and talent really doesn’t matter. People always say, “oh well you guys are always offended by something.” Well, to be honest with you, i’m offended that you would rather pick out what is so wrong with my generation than see what we’ve done so right. Sure, we didn’t create sliced bread and we have constant disagreements about who to vote for, but that’s part of living the American dream. I’m thankful I can have different views on certain subjects, because imagine if we were all thinking the same thing. It may seem nice, but we wouldn’t learn. I wouldn’t be able to understand that how our differences help shape and mold our own opinions. People my age are helping find ways to cure cancer and create ways to cope with diseases like Alzheimer’s. I think of all the people who are out there being the change. I think of all my friends out there with full time jobs and working more than they sleep. To call us lazy is not exactly the word i would use. I’m not saying there aren’t bad seeds in every bunch, but if people would just stop saying we are hopeless. Try and remember what it was like when you were our age and your parents hated half the shit you did. I’m sure they weren’t really “excited” when you were like “hey mom and dad, i’m gonna go to the newest bar/club in the city”. They probably thought you were nuts, just how you think of us now. We are who YOU taught us to be.
I turn twenty four in November. Most of my friends have children and I’m so happy for them. I think it is the coolest thing to see them be parents. I think of the times I would have to carry them out of whatever party we were at and now I look at them carrying around their little human. While I’m happy for them, i know that isn’t what i need in my life right now. It may have taken me a while to see it, but I’m happy by myself. I enjoy my alone time reading or writing and doing whatever i want without having to tell someone. I’m in no rush to be in a relationship or be in charge of someone else’s life. People seem to have a hard time understanding that concept. I may be alone, but I’m not lonely. Stop forcing people to think they need someone to fulfill some missing piece in their life. Stop making those who don’t want kids right now, or maybe ever, feel bad. I won’t say i don’t miss certain people, but I’m okay with what the universe is teaching me. My sister is having a baby here soon, and everyone’s response is always “oh i thought you’d be the first one” or “so you’re next right?” Well, I hate to break it to you, but I’m flattered you’d thought I’d have children before her (i think) and no, I’m actually not next. I want to travel and i want to see all that the world has to offer. A child right now is just not in my cards, and THAT IS OKAY. There is so much pressure in society that you have to be married or you need to start having babies before you turn thirty. I’m twenty three and some days i don’t even know if i can remember put socks on. I don’t know who thought of that rule, but I’m pretty sure they are nuts.
To my friends who do have children, you guys rock. I’m so glad that you have the whole parenting thing down. To those who raise their little ones on their own, MUCH KUDOS TO YOU. I see the strength you guys have for them on days when you don’t think you can keep up. I see the struggle, but I love it more when i see the prevail. I’m here to lend a hand, because sometimes that is all you need. Much respect to you.
I went to dinner a few weeks ago with some girlfriends and we are all on different paths in life. Some are in relationships, some have relations with others and some just keep to themselves. My friend Emilee was explaining how being with someone didn’t intrigue her at all. At first, i was a little skeptical that someone could feel such a way. How did the thought of being with someone not interest her? I mean, I think in the future I’ll be more inviting for dating but I still think about it from time to time. I jokingly asked her if she had ever considered being a lesbian….Not that there’s anything wrong with that, i just know she prefers men and suggested the change. As we talked about it more, I began to understand what she meant. We both have different circumstances, she has a child and i do not, but we both enjoy our freedom. I don’t think being with someone is impossible, but for right now, it’s just not for me. I want to know that i can handle life, by myself.
That same night, my girlfriend Erica and I went downtown, which isn’t unusual. What was unusual was the amount of people who seemed to notice two girls, without any male friends around. My dad, who is a retired police officer, always taught my sister and i to be aware of the people you’re around and your surroundings. I felt really uncomfortable at first because it felt like everyone was staring as if we were aliens. We even had a conversation with one guy at the bar who made a comment, “well, this is a cool place right? i mean there are hot guys here, right?” We both were kinda confused because we just wanted to eat our pudding shots and carry on with our conversation. I told him “well we are just here to have a few drinks and be with each other” and he seemed kind of annoyed by my answer.
Why did he feel like we had to find the guys in that bar attractive?
Why did he feel that it wasn’t okay that we were merely there to talk and have a pudding shot?
I think about that experience every now and then and wonder what made my answer so wrong. Was it because neither of us were trying to be all over guys? I wasn’t looking for anyone’s attention, other than the person i was talking to. We wanted to enjoy the evening and that’s just what we did. I hate the stigma that comes along with going out and having fun with your friends. I hate the fact that my parents worry every time I go out because of people like Brock What’s his face. I remember while growing up, my Nana always taught us girls that when you go to a party, never put your drink down. Back then, it sounded silly because i didn’t exactly understand what she meant. But in this world, its so scary to think that people could hurt you and you wouldn’t even know it. I wish i didn’t live in a world that i had to be afraid if my dress was too revealing or if i put my drink down, i’d be risking my life. Dating at this age sucks, and when I meet the person who matches my crazy, I’ll be more than thankful for them.
I write this post to show you what it’s sort of like to be a millennial. You will never find me saying that other generations did not have it hard, because you did. What i will say is that we do not fight the same battles. My generation lives in a world were the possibilities are endless, which isn’t as glorious as it seems. We say we have anxiety, because every move we make is going to decide our future. We fight for things we love hard, because that is what we were taught. Society tells us that there is something wrong with us if we don’t have kids or don’t have all our shit together. Listen, I know some elders who still don’t have their shit together. Those people give me a giant sigh of relief, because you my friends are just as human as me. Sometimes I think to myself, is it really so wrong that we try to be different? That we try to find our own groove. We are constantly told you can’t do this or you’ll never be able to do that. I think you’re wrong. You’ll see that one day we will all do great things, and those who doubted us will understand. Sure we’re weird, but we have heart. This post is just an insight on some things that happen in my daily life and my thoughts on things that I face.
My age does not define me.
My ability to work my ass off for the things i have while having a smile on my face at the same time defines me. Remember that.
The post is named after a song called “New Americana” by Halsey. 10/10 recommended.
High on legal marijuana. Raised on Biggie and Nirvana. We are the new Americana.