Why I Can't Even: The Story of Every Millenial

teal_magazine_film_photo_35mm

Remember that story from Sunday school you heard all the time when you were a kid about Moses parting the sea so that his people could walk across safely? Keep story that in mind. Our parents’ generation, and practically every generation before that one, was able to walk across that dry and smooth ground from one side (#Childhood) to the other (#Adulting), no problem…then we millennials all showed up on the beaches and the waters collapsed back into place right in front of us –leaving us stranded.

“Why don’t you just cross already?!” they are all shouting from the side of #Adulting. “But there is nothing here to help us get across!” we respond. “Just figure it out!” They shout back. “And while you’re at it, get a job already!”

It fell onto us, the folks stuck in the golden box of ages 18 to 30ish, to get pretty much screwed over. We got thrust into a world that already found what they wanted, let in all of those chosen people, and then shut gates behind them --leaving us, the folks 18 to 30ish to just gaze and peer through the windows.

We are seen as lazy. We are seen as immature. We are even seen as what many have called “weak”, but those of us inside of that golden box, the box the generations before us made that we’re all stuck inside of, we know that it is the complete opposite –we are incredibly strong. We are strong because we absolutely have to be if we want to even survive past the age of 30 out there.

Getting a “real” job and starting an adult-approved life used to be as easy as visiting a company or store and asking the oldest person there if they were looking for another set of hands to work. They would nod and hand you a broom…or a typewriter, or quill, or whatever it was that they used back then. It used to be exponentially easier to start #Adulting than it is now. Why? Because the world was a much friendlier place back then for our parents and grandparents to get their lives started.

It’s hard to feel confident in yourself when you have all of these doubts being tossed at you from every angle.

“Work harder!”

“Stop being lazy and get out there!”

“When I was your age, I was already…”

It’s ridiculous how often we are compared and belittled. This kind of self-doubt is what hinders us millennials from a lot more than just a career –it gets in the way of and effects our entire lives.

Forming relationships with people, both romantic and even just plain social, is extremely difficult because we are all so insecure about ourselves (I mean, can you blame us for feeling that way after being personally bombarded by people telling us that we suck as humans for so long?). We try to feel confident in our own skin, but realistically, we are all terrified of what’s going on around us.

Photo by Maria Volnovich

Photo by Maria Volnovich

We feel alone, and we kinda are, and we want relationships that are going to work as safe-zones, places to hide in and feel safe and understood when things get really awful. But when each of us are as insecure and trying to find themselves as the next, it’s hard to feel safe and understood when no one really fully understands themselves just yet. Often times it’s the blind leading the blind, and that’s what leads to all the unstable relationships we continue to bump into. It’s a pretty scary and often lonely thing sometimes.

To the other members of the golden box, here’s the thing to remember: Yeah, we totally got screwed over as soon as we grew up and no one but us really gets that, but always remember that it’s alright to simply just do your best.

Yeah, yeah…I know that sounds cliché, but really, in a world that wants you to have 35 years of experience at only 25 years old, it’s all we can do, and we all need to feel confident in that alone. It’s the confidence that we are not feeling that stands in our way, and we need to reclaim that.

Photo by The Frotographer

Photo by The Frotographer

Our confidence in ourselves is something that no matter how many times we’re told that we aren’t doing what our grandparents did way-back-when, they can’t take away. It’s okay to get rattled sometimes, but just shake it off and keep doing you. Hey, you’re all you got, so once you find out what makes you confident, cling to it.

They can’t take the “You” away from you, so own it, lean on it, and let that alone be your way out of the golden box. We’re only as trapped as we think we are, and the ability to escape and change our own world for the better lies in all of us.