I feel like I can get away with a little ageism in a blog post as I’m commenting on my own demographic… Guys, have people’s mid-20s always been this helpless?
Most people I know are living at home, have parents helping support their bills, or moved in prematurely with a significant other to afford rent. I’m living with my parents and constantly wonder if I’m regressing. Yet, I don’t feel entitled to it. I know my time here is a gift, at the expense of my parent’s personal freedom.
But then, I also meet people in their mid-30s with babies who have had to move back in with their parents. Or, I met a couple who wanted to save up for their wedding so they moved back home. Both scenarios make me concerned that this won’t be my last stint at coming to my parents for help.
Rather than list out a bunch of justifications for not having our shit together, I’d like to share a summation of where I feel we’ve become developmentally stunted:
- Simplicity – I, for one, envy the generation that didn’t stray far from their birthplace. Af a time where families remained local and no one knew what job opportunities were floating around in San Francisco, or China. In a sad, selfish (and privileged) way, I wish we could be less connected with the rest of the world just so we could stick to a damn decision in the hemisphere pertinent to us. Be happy with what we have.
- Honesty – Hi, how are you? — Good! How about you? Come on. No one wants to admit they have doubts or ruts. Romantic relationships equally seem too formulated: First, look less interested than you really are to make them want you. Make sure you don’t reply too quickly to messages. In fact, try to become interested in several people at once, that way you become a hot commodity and don’t look too desperate. We have so many rules that don’t make an individual feel good. We clearly want to connect, but why are we behaving so shallow? We are about as emotionally repressed as June in the Handmaid’s Tale – and it’s self-imposed.
- Lifestyle – We want to feel like we’ve made it in life and no one seems to be saving paychecks. Even if people do live at home, travel gets booked up, weekends out get pricey, etc. It makes the concept of happiness unobtainable if everyone is living beyond their means. But yet, we do. Since moving home, I have saved everything I’ve earned, at the expense of not leaving the house more than once every 3 weeks.
- Guilt – There is guilt surrounding our college-educated status since most of us are not reaching our goals. I don’t believe it is that we aren’t hustling, but I think we’re becoming a bunch of manic-depressive people for thinking we’re not achieving enough. Not to mention corporate greed. At 26 we should not be feeling defeated, but we do. We already feel as though we’ve exhausted our resources.
This isn’t meant to be a moody post, but it is an honest insight. I appreciate my parents so much for giving me this slack. They could have refused and I would not have felt cheated in any way.
I think what our generation is feeling, is a lot of shame for not fitting into a social culture that has suddenly become so soulless and externally-motivated. Yet, if we’re all feeling this estranged, it surely means there are enough of us to change the dialogue.
Next time you’re out, tell someone how you’re really doing and don’t be too cool to ask for a receipt. We can’t all continue to be so… contactless.