When I took up an interest in writing as a girl, my teacher told me I should begin each personal piece by being honest. It didn’t matter how long or short of a story or essay I was writing. She would just encourage me to be honest.
So here’s honesty: I didn’t know I was a part of the Millennial generation until last year.
I specifically recall my ninth grade science teacher explaining the generations to my less than interested science class, stating he was a part of Generation X, and we were called Generation Y, because we always asked, “Why?” before doing anything.
To be honest, I took this as a compliment. I was tired of the insipid population in my town doing as they were told without asking why and reveled in being a part of a more curious generation who at least wanted to know the reasons behind what was expected of them. As I look back now, he was probably being a dick. Despite this, I didn’t hear the term, “Millennial,” until I had entered my twenties.
There were faint rumblings of the word; I associated it with the generation behind me, assuming I was actually a part of Generation X. As this past presidential election primary approached, it appeared everything bad that had ever happened to anybody was a Millennial’s fault.
It did seem the age group I had once assumed to be Millennials, i.e. those still in school and just emerging from college, were having a rougher go of things. I struggled to understand how so many things were their fault though. Many of my younger friends remained unemployed; I was forced to wonder if this was not because we all were encouraged and sometimes forced into college, berated into believing a college degree was the only way we would make a living. From my perspective at that time, yeah it would be pretty hard on a Millennial to enter school for an expensive four year degree revolving around a major that was obsolete by the time they completed school. Of course they were unemployable. Oh right, and then there was the recession, forcing many overqualified, older individuals out of their cushy offices and behind fry cookers.
A Millennial with a four year degree isn’t necessarily an entitled brat so much as when they graduated literally all of the jobs were taken. But I digress.
The primaries came, I became more embroiled in politics than I ever thought possible. In the midst of it all I was shown a horrifying piece of information proving the age range for Millennials was far broader than I realized. In fact, if you were born between 1981 and 1997, you are a Millennial, like myself. We are technically also considered to be a part of Generation Y, but who uses that term anymore? Now understanding I was a part of what was considered the problem, I made it my personal fucking mission to gather information on how I had destroyed America.
I didn’t remember personally destroying the fabric of the country. I love my family, take care of the people around me, cuddle my dog probably way more than is necessary (HE IS ONLY AROUND FOR A SHORT TIME, SHUT YOUR MOUTH), and when my epilepsy is not trying to shake me into an early grave, I scrounge up freelance work to pay for overpriced medication that keeps me alive. No, I’m not perfect. I’ve definitely been that drunken girl at a party who gets annoying and calls somebody a bitch, and I’ve for sure been Little Misinformed online in some arena or another.
Destroying America’s infrastructure though? I feel like you have the wrong girl.
I asked others, Generation X-ers, where this frustration and hatefulness comes from. How had I, how had we ruined the country?
Apparently none of us work. We’re all entitled brats. We think things are owed to us without working for them. Nobody in the Millennial generation understands what it’s like to be an adult.
Ah, I see. Well, forgive me for beating a dead horse but, if that even was true, who the fuck raised us? And to be honest, that isn’t true. There are jobs, and Millennials are doing many of them. The difference may be Millennials are just louder about how unsatisfied they are having gone to school at their parents’ urging, for four long and arduous years, only to end up cashiering at a Walmart.
Let’s also discuss inflation. Perhaps as a twenty-five year old, a Gen. X-er could get by working at a Walmart, buy a house or make rent, buy a car, and even buy groceries. Health insurance, you say? Well you could probably swing that too because it was cheaper. Wages haven’t gone up, but the price of shit has. Watch me work just at Walmart and be able to afford, personally, my medical expenses and maybe half my rent depending on how many hospital visits I have that month. It isn’t going to happen.
As of yet, I have been unable to discover which of us Millennials marched on Washington to insist the price of college would bloat, the economy would tank, minimum wage would stay the same, but the price of essential things to live like food and medicine would continue to rise.
(I have a sneaking suspicion it was my best friend growing up, Samantha. She was wild, always getting in to crazy shit, and if anybody was going to turn the tide on the whole country, ruining the whole goddamn nation for generations to come, man it would have been her. Did you know one time she drank an entire three cups of Kool-Aid, even though her mom said she wasn’t supposed to. Ah, Samantha.)
But back to business. Currently, rooms full of decrepit, old, leather-skinned government officials, likely riddled with glaucoma, liver spots, and the idea that homosexuality is an unholy affront to god are gathering to part millions of Americans from their right to basic healthcare. I don’t even think these Skeksis-looking motherfuckers belong to the Baby Boomer generation.
We’re talking generation Old Testament. We’re also dealing with the very real possibility of Americans dying, simply because they can’t afford healthcare, women dying from unsafe abortions, and an unprecedented lack of preventative medicine that could make us the laughing stock of the First World.
My guess at this point is while Millennials may be loud and obnoxious at times, what’s really going on is Capitol Hill needs a scapegoat and if these are my people I’m not going to be blamed quietly based on the fact we had the audacity to exist.