There’s a certain irony when we read stories about ourselves.
When a teacher reads a news story about gaps in the nation’s education system, for example. Or when a chef reviews a piece on culinary trends. It’s ironic because we insert narratives and ditties and personal tales as we read.
Sometimes we nod in furious agreement, and other times we shake our heads in disgust. In connecting what we read to our own lives, we insert ourselves as mini-experts. And rightfully so; personal stories are what enhance news stories.
So reading about Generation Y, or the Millennial Generation, brings a subtle smirk to my lips. It’s me, my husband, my peers and friends I’m reading about, after all.
Generalizations about millennials abound. We’re self-centered. We’re the boomerang generation. We’re entitled, called the Trophy Generation. We’re quick to relocate and slow to settle down. We’re having babies later and later. Oh yeah, and the flattering “go-nowhere generation.” In summary? Unsettled.
Clearly, it’s not a conversation for the faint of heart. But I think there’s something missing from the conversations we’re having about the millennial generation.
What is this unsettled feeling doing to our souls?
Some of us are getting burnt out because we’ve been doing so much for so long. Some of us are living the boomerang life, back with family after years away at college as we try to make ends meet. Just two examples. No matter what, we’re trying to figure ourselves out. And that very unsettled feeling makes for unsettled souls, unsettled hearts and unsettled lives.
We’re trying to figure ourselves out. Part of that figuring ourselves out means trying new, different things.
Like so many of my peers, I’ve created a career that looks like a patchwork quilt. Experiences add up. Not to play the Pollyanna card, but each job is a blessing and a total joy. I can honestly say that each job, big or small, has made me the kind of professional I am today. Grateful doesn’t begin to describe it.
And yet, despite all that gratitude, it’s tough for me to log into Facebook sometimes.
Friends are landing challenging, kinda-lucrative jobs. They’re exploring beautiful cities and building relationships far outside their own backyards. They’re traveling, more than a simple weekend getaway (although, honestly, I’m a little envious of even the weekend trips). Many are striving and accomplishing and growing. Others are impacting the world in a big way, with missions trips and fundraising events and undeniably awesome acts of service. Still others are building beautiful families and homes and growing the kind of roots I covet.
They say one key trait of the millennial generation is entitlement. We want everything, think we’re capable of everything.
Entitlement + An unsettled feeling = A very jealous soul.
It’s a part of the conversation that I think is clearly missing. We can discuss ad nauseam about how the traits and trends are impacting the world economically, psychologically, sociologically, philosophically. But souls matter, and it’s time we started talking about them.
Tomorrow: Part Two, on how we might begin to heal souls. Today, I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this.
It’s a privilege to link up again with the Soli Deo Gloria sisterhood over at Jen Ferguson’s place.