I can relate to so much of what you wrote as I experienced many of the same things years ago that you mentioned in your story. I guess some things haven’t changed as GenXers were the generation that was “lost and confused.” We too couldn’t find jobs and had to “boomerang” back home to mom and dad. We had been “latchkey” kids and wanted more of a work-life balance than our parents had. We were the “me” generation.
What changed for GenY, among other things, was higher student debt, higher speed Internet and the evolution of social media where I agree there is more pressure to be image conscious, to be materialistic and to impress.
It is true that full time jobs of any kind will consume your time and it will become a challenge to write that book or start online businesses.
Everything takes time. You put off the dream. It is what it is. And then you remember.
You keep trying, enjoy the ride and then … great things happen. I believe that greatness will ring true for you.