Saturday, September 23, 2017

Yes, I'm a 45-year-old Millennial

One day one of my kids told me I was like a millennial on the inside - even thought I don't look like it on the outside. At first, I took offense a little to the looking my age part, but the "millennial on the inside" stuck with me. I guess it would be the equivalent of being young at heart. I know a lot of people like that. So, I took it as a compliment, not just because of the being young at heart part, but the being compared to a millennial part. Really, I think millennials are pretty cool and admire many of the things they strive to do and I feel like they get an overall bad rap.

The millennial generation gets so much flak for some of the perceived negatives - being lazy, entitled, self-absorbed. Really you find those in any age group. Technically, I'm among those in Generation X, sandwiched between the baby boomers and the millennials. Generation X is comprised of those born roughly between 1965 and 1977. The millennial range is from about 1977 to 1995. I was born in 1972 so I am a few years out of the range, but I can identify with so many things of the millennial generation. YOLO. FOMO. I love to follow pop culture. I am drawn to the creatives, side hustlers. I use social media daily in many forms. But when I think about it, I can identify with a lot of baby boom characteristics, too. I'm nostalgic. I'm a historian. I reminisce about the days before cell phones and iPads when we spent Saturday mornings recording the top 40 countdown onto a cassette tape and gathered on Saturday nights to watch Love Boat and Fantasy Island on a huge 19-inch screen in the pre-cable/pre-VHS days. I loved playing Red Rover outside with neighborhood kids, but once we got our first Nintendo, you couldn't drag me a way from Duck Hunt and Mario Karts. I think us generation X-ers kinda got the best of both worlds.

I'm always a glass-half-full kind of gal who looks for the good and there's so much good in that millennial group if you look for it. Really, I hate generalizations. They're never accurate. They're never true of all in a group. Some things can be true for a majority, but it never encompasses them all. And a lot in the millennial group push that concept - that there's no place for stereotypes and generalizations and racism and sexism a lot of other words that end is "ism." The baby boomers that lived through the 60's and and were part of that peace-loving generation should get it as much as anyone.

Like I said, I look for the positives - and I see so much promise and good in millennials. A drive for not just monetary success, but the desire to make a difference. A flexibility and ability to adapt. An ability and conscious effort to embrace those of other walks of life, backgrounds, etc. A live and let live mentality. Finding a way to incorporate their passions into their profession - or find or create a side gig that is fulfilling. An early recognition that life is short and there's no time to waste and that life should be about enjoyment and purpose, not just then grind of making a dollar. That's not to say that other generations don't have such qualities, it's just some I've seen in a lot of millennials that I admire. And it's not to say that there aren't faults or flip-sides to the YOLO way of seeing the world. But, for me, I see enough in the millennials that I really, really like and you can call me one any time you want. I'd be honored.