People say a lot of things about Millenials. We’re restless and lazy, entitled and impatient, moody and way too “connected.” Some of those things may be true. But there’s one thing that frustrates me about all the millennial talk, all the placing of these labels; it’s that it all comes from people who aren’t us.
If I dig down to the bottom of a lot of my desires, under the dead grass, the loose topsoil, beneath the tight-packed earth, what I actually find is a small seed of recess.
We grew up in a world that moves unthinkably fast. It’s easy to say we’re indecisive or entitled, unsure or wandering, but ultimately I think these are all just misdiagnosed symptoms of a generation trying to keep up with a world that’s moving faster than ever before.
It’s like this digital age has created one of those astronaut training devices and it’s whipping us around with such force that the Gs are suffocating; we’re desperate to reach that big red button that shuts the whole thing down so that we can catch our breath for a second and then look at the machine and wonder “do I even want to be on this thing?”
It’s pretty easy for an older generation to point out our flaws, the imperfections of our tribe. But what I don’t think they understand is we didn’t choose to live this way.
While I don’t have an answer as to how to go about actually slowing this whole thing down, I do have a theory, and ironically it centers around the idea of the unknown. It’s a scary concept, that which we don't know, but if you can stop to think about it, in a lot of ways it may just be that button that we’re so desperately trying to reach.
See, in our world we are inundated with information. It is what makes it move so fast. Every answer, definition, picture, text and date is at our fingertips—or really thumb tips to be more literal. So in a world where we are so consumed by this information, the idea of the unknown, something for which there inherently is no answer, should really be the most wonderfully refreshing thing we could ask for.
It is no easy task, but if we can be brave, if we can stop running from the things we don’t understand, if we can face them head on, embrace them and dive head first into the deep, dark pools of what we don't know, we may just find that things will start to slow down.
Our life is a sea of brackish water, full of mixed emotions and consequences, but if we can make it to the surface every once in a while, to take a deep breath and inhale that uncertainty, I think we by the time we breathe out, we’ll feel a bit better.
They say we’re impatient. I think we’re passionate. They say we’re too connected. I think we’re collaborative. They say we’re indecisive. I think we’re thoughtful.
With every pause we can learn a little more about ourselves. And yet, I’m so far from knowing what I’m doing here it’s terrifying. But I believe in us. I’m encouraged by us. I think we are bound to do to do great things. Really in a way, we have to. But it should not be scary. It should be exciting. We must embrace the uncertainty of our own lives. We must learn to slow down.
I’ve been looking forward to a vacation recently: a vacation back home.