I really dislike ‘generation’ assumptions. Maybe it’s being a part of the “what’s wrong with the millennials?” “how the world is imploding/will eventually explode in the millennials’ hands” “oh just give up already, you’re screwed” generation.
Nonetheless, I’m not sure what it is about my generation. At least in its current state.
Without the “traditional” narrative of school-job-marriage-kids-house-grandkids-pension, a lot of my cohort seems adrift. Not the least of which is myself.
I am often caught in a kind of loop, constantly questioning: when I will start?
A recent conversation with a friend reminded me how silly that is. She was questioning remaining abroad (where she is finishing graduate school), but feeling pulled to “start a life in the US.” Immediately I thought: but we are already started. In whatever form we are living now, this is it.
It reminded me of how often I question my own judgement, purely based on the fact that my life does not fit into that dominant narrative.
Maybe the reason a lot of my generation is uneasy, or unsure, is that our society has barely started to make room for stories like ours. Ones in which absolutely everything is different.
I don’t think this is a unique conundrum. In fact, I think every generation at some point feels the same. What I am interested in, is if mine is ever going to be able to turn the tide. To allow, even encourage, each other to be different.
To be a world traveller for a year, a volunteer in Malawi for two years, a new graduate student at 30, a knitting instructor, a receptionist-by-day-epic-event-planner-by-night, a yurt-living farm couple, or any of the dozens of iterations I see just within my circle.
A huge part of it is, and will continue to be, supporting each other. Telling ourselves only gets us so far. Yet, I will, as always, start with me: “I’m rested and I’m ready to begin.”
I went on the search for something real
Traded what I know for how I feel
But the ceiling and the walls collapsed
Upon the darkness I was trapped
And as the last of breath was drawn from me
Light broke in and brought me to my feet
There’s no fortune at the end of the road
That has no end
There’s no returning to the spoils
Once you’ve spoiled the thought of them
There’s no falling back asleep
Once you’ve wakened from the dream
Now I’m rested and I’m ready and I’m ready to begin
I’m rested and I’m ready to begin