In wake of the election results, there has been a lot of blaming and finger pointing. Millennials have been getting the brunt of it as some of us didn’t vote. Which has spurred on many more insults about the generation, in general.
Millennial is just a word describing the group of people who were born between 1982 and 1994, much like Generation X labeled people who grew up in the 1990’s. However, I can’t help but notice that the word millennial is more often than not used with a negative connotation. Folks from the older generations LOVE to criticize everything we 20-30-year-olds are not doing and how we are a bunch of big babies glued to our phones.
A simple google search will show that general consensus of millennials, is that we don’t want to work, we are lazy, selfish, without work ethic, social media obsessed and wary of vaccinations (Yes, this was one of the first items that came up for me. And yes, I am extremely wary of vaccinations and the health industry as a whole).
I can’t deny that some of the labels are true. I have to be fair. I harbor a lot of frustration with many in my generation. (the social media obsession is a real criticism) However, I personally hate when the term is aimed at me.
The other day, during a conversation with an older man, I was confused by something he was referring to. In his frustration, he simply said, “Oh you millennials,” and brushed me off.
Sometimes I feel that the older generation is looking down on me for not thinking like they do, thus their way of justifying that, is by insulting my entire generation. But I think the way I do because I have made a conscious decision to live a different way from the people before me.
I grew up watching my parents stress over money, and my father work almost every day, without passion for much else. A job took the place of his identity, and his value as a person depended on the money he produced. That attitude is prevalent today. What you do for a living is often the first question asked at parties. Your answer will define you for the rest of the night. I understand money is important and you can’t survive without it. But, there is so much more to me as a person than how I make money. My distaste for having a job comes from this need to move away from being a slave to corporations and losing myself in the race for profit.
AND it’s really hard to find a good paying job nowadays! It was so much easier when my parents were younger and I think that’s what some people forget.
That is not to say I despise working. I am a hard worker and haven’t been without a job since I was 16. There are lots of jobs out there that revolve around people’s passions. I just haven’t found that for me yet. I am hopeful and know that I need to start somewhere. I am grateful I have a job and will continue to do my best at it. But I do entertain the idea of working from home or being my own boss. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
Being a vegan has taught me to open my eyes and go against the popular opinion in order to get what I want. I want to be healthy and happy. Once I realized my health and thus my happiness was being affected by the food I was putting into my body, I made a change. And this change was contrary to how most live their lives. My skin doesn’t respond well when I wear a lot of makeup, so I stopped. I don’t own a lot of clothing because I was becoming too self-absorbed. I spend my money on other things now. Food and what I looked like use to be at the center of my mind all the time. Since changing these things about myself, I have learned to embrace my true beauty and overcome food cravings and addictions.
I am saying this because I don’t think it is a bad thing that we millennials are trying to live a completely different life than our parents or our grandparents. Times have changed. We have adapted. I was born into a time of social media and computers and the internet as a main source of information. Don’t criticize me for taking full advantage of these things. I am not lazy because I don’t want a job. I am dreaming of a day where I actually run every aspect of my life.
I hope this doesn’t come off as a pity party because that is not my intention. I want people to know that being different and doing what is right for your mind, body, and soul is the most important thing you can do for yourself. It doesn’t make you selfish. It’s an act of discovering who you are in a world where everyone else’s opinions are in your face.
And don’t call me a millennial.