I’ll be honest - I’m a 20-something living in a major U.S. city, and I feel like the world owes me everything.
I grew up in a normal American town, befriended normal American children, earned a normal American degree, and people should be proud of me for my accomplishments. I’m a Millennial, can’t my employer tell that I will rule the world?
It’s tough - I get it. Growing up today comes with a lot of pressure. We feel we must reach all of our goals as soon as possible, and if our friends make more money than us, we’re doing something wrong. No, someone is doing wrong to us.
I’m a Millennial, and I hear friends complaining about their professional lives every day. I complain about my professional life every day. Not because I am bad at what I do, nor because of how I execute my work, but because I’m not making six figures at 25. I blame the economy, I blame the politics that play out in my office and I blame other people for succeeding where I have failed.
But maybe I’m not happy. Maybe deep down, at my moments of weakness when I stare at my LinkedIn profile and recognize my lack of experience, I don’t know how to deal with being an amateur at life. So I focus my emotion on targeting everything that’s seemingly wronged me in the past. The people who left me behind, the jobs that never panned out, the lunch I bought yesterday that wasn’t very good and the missed opportunities that slipped through the cracks of my hands because I was so busy trying to pick up everything around me and run as fast as I could into adulthood.
Maybe it’s me.
The one person capable of changing my perspective and approach to my life. Maybe it’s my lack of understanding. I can’t expect success on my own terms without putting in the work.
That requires effort, though.
Does anyone feel like putting in the effort anymore? The hours to develop talents that I actually don’t have. The insight to realize my writing skills aren’t as great as I thought they were. The notion that my experiences before the “real world” actually aren’t relevant to my employer’s needs. Sure, I’ve been all over the world and met a lot of great people - no one cares. It’s irrelevant. And even when you find a situation that makes you feel like your voice matters more than the forward progression of a collective group, you’ve failed. And you will continue to fail.
I think Millennials trend toward mediocrity, realizing uniqueness is actually unique. It puts my peers and me in a sense of discomfort. So we blog about our feelings, about our current and past jobs, our boyfriends and girlfriends and our shitty cats who we only love when we want something to love us back for one moment out of the day. After all, I’m a Millennial, and my feelings are important.
Then I turn on the TV in my apartment that my parents bought me during college and see that a tornado just blew through Moore, OK. I sigh, think for a moment about the people affected, and go back to snapchatting my friend living in New York City.