An interesting thing happened when I entered my twenties. I really started to grow up. I began to realize that I wasn’t a kid anymore and if I wanted the life I used to dream about, I had to put in work to accomplish it.
Two, almost three, years in, I would like to think I’m doing pretty good for myself; graduated college, employed, healthy, have a myriad of hobbies I enjoy, and an army of dreams and ambitions I have yet to accomplish.
Entering your twenties should come with a warning sign. Or at least of list of things that can and will come up that will drain you both emotionally and financially. In recent years, I’ve tried to reference the stories of those in my family that endured their early twenties, from my sister to my parents, my grandparents, and other members of my family. I even would ask my professors stories about their misadventures in their twenties.
I’m sure I speak for my fellow millennials when I say that we are a restless generation. With all this talk of the world ending and literally everything around us is disappearing, from celebrity deaths to winter and fall, many of us seem to be becoming disillusioned with adulthood.
We are, what many writers are referring to as, the “most optimistic and most educated” generation but many of our everyday struggles are unlike anything our parents and grandparents ever endured. For many of us, living a life on our own terms from the beginning is top priority.
In her U.S News article “What does the American Dream mean to Millennials ?”, Writer Maryalene LaPonsie quotes fellow millennial and wealth management advisor Chantel Bonneau, saying “Millennials really think a satisfying career is a part of the American dream more than anything else.”
Many millennials seem to deviate from the old formula of education, career, marriage, house, and raising a family. We don’t want to have to wait to live. We want to already live. Even if that means charting a course no one else has.
We twenty something millennials bare the brute of having to be optimistic in a rapidly growing pessimistic world. From education to finances, even politics, the world we were once told as children as this wonderful place is beginning to lose all its wonder. That is unless we ourselves do something about it. That can only be accomplished from living.
There have been many lessons I have learned from my parents but one thing that has always resonated with me was that because of the circumstances they grew up in, from their neighborhoods to their schools as well as the accomplishments of their parents, living in their twenties was limited. They had good jobs, a newly built house in a thriving neighborhood, two children in cheerleading and YMCA, respectively, but more than twenty years later, I find them wanting more. There was only so much they could do so it made sense to play by the rules.
Call it the millennial in me but I want to live a limitless life. A life worth waking up for rather than staying in bed for. A life that may not always exist with a 9-5 boundary. A life that thrives more on serendipity rather than preparation. A life where I find myself always exploring something new and different and never growing complaisant. Is there such a life? That’s for the millennials to answer.