<rant>Hi. My name is Brandy and I am a”Millennial” or Gen Yer. Recently Time did their ever so rabble rousing issue about the ME ME ME generation. There is one for every generation. Time is in the business of selling magazines and creating buzz..round of applause because they did. But while this stirred it up for me, I have been looking at this “issue” for quite some time now. Many years ago a friend in HR sent me an article about “managing millennials”. It was the first time I came to face with the term. I read the article and thought “yeah those youngin’s sure are whiney…wait ….what?…I am one of these”.
I struggle with the idea if I am truly one of them. Yes. I was born in 1983 as a middle class white girl. Not only that but an only child. On paper? I am a whiney rich brat who gets everything she ever wants. My parents were married. Both worked and bought me lots of Christmas presents. We had decent cars and a plenty big house. So clearly I should demand the world hand me everything on a platter and be entitled to the fame and riches MTV promised me, right?
Nope. I’ve had a job since I was 15. I had 3 at one point in high school where I still managed to graduate 26th in my class. At 17, I was running the office of the grocery store and closing the books each week with people 40 years my senior. Other nights I tutored high risk kids and did data entry. I drove the hand me down car. I learned to change my own oil. I had to mow the lawn. I didn’t have a credit card. I didn’t get gas money. That shit was my responsibility. My parents would never let me go without…but I had to earn my keep too. Just because I was the only didn’t mean I didn’t need to be a decent member of society.
And this is where I jump on my soapbox. One little fact about only children that never seems to make as big of an impression as SPOILED is we can be OVERACHIEVERS. We have no built in competition. We have ourselves (and our parents expectations) to either meet or exceed. Kevin and I are both this way. So if we, the pampered only children, can put in a hard days work, what is the rest’s excuse? Work ethic isn’t a generation thing. It’s a parenting thing to some degree and an internal drive. I don’t like getting lumped in to a bucket because of my birth year.
Now on the flip side, I am part of the “me” generation in that I blog about ME! I love taking pictures of MY life. I like being LIKED but is that making me a “bad” person? I want to be a voice in a sea of millions to say “hey this is life our way. take what you want. If that is a recipe for easy dinner or how to make your kid shut up, so be it” It’s why I started doing this. People wanted to know more about the dirty side of mommy life. Miscarriage, depression, peeing yourself, shingles, missing birth control and even just those days you say FUCK IT. Maybe that is just part of the “meeeeeeeness” that I want to set an example but whatever. Should I be ashamed of this? I don’t think so.
Overall, the generation bash is just silly. I think Matt Bors did an excellent example of explaining why we need to stop hating on a generation so bad. While we weren’t in the face of Vietnam or the Great Depression, we have hardships of our own…that have been built by the generations before us. We can’t get jobs because there aren’t any…because no one leaves. I am one of the lucky ones. I snagged a job before the economy turned to shit. I have some upward mobility but some of my peers, nope. Most of my friends are stuck in the overqualified bucket. They don’t have the experience years to get into the jobs they are fit for because it was hard getting started and then they are overqualified if they decide to try for something lesser. It’s vicious cycle I have seen since I graduated for so many. Name how many 30 year olds you know that have been with the same company for 9 years…I am anomaly. And I contend a large part of that is because I was a product of something the millennials are given shit for….my parents paid for my college. I came out of school with no debt. I got to start my life right away. House, car, marriage without worrying about financial burden. I didn’t have to take a shitty job to just pay the bills. I could hold out. When the economy tanked, I was already settled and could weather it with savings and a stable job. So to say we are self centered lazy fuckers just pisses me off. We play the cards we are dealt and just because it is different from the “‘merica you remember” doesn’t make it bad…just totally different.