To The Millenial Just Starting Out,
Well, this is it. The 1966 Thunderbird Convertible is flying off the cliff, but this time you don’t have Louise’s hand to hold as you accelerate into uncertainty.
Though I hope you haven’t made the choice to start out somewhere new because you were running from the cops and instead have a plan to land somewhere solidly and not squashed (poor word choice) at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, but that’s what it feels like.
It’s the click, click, click of the tracks as you’re nearing the top of the coaster. The stomach in throat feeling somewhere smack in the middle of excitement and uncertainty. Like the second you walk off the stage at your college graduation and the first day of high school at the same time.
Except now it’s different, this time you got this. The training wheels may be off officially, but you’re smart enough now to wear a helmet or at least have band-aids handy (and your parents’ health insurance) for when you fall.
And if you find yourself hitting cement more often than you anticipated, poet Sarah Kay puts it best in her poem “B”:
“This life will hit you hard in the face, wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air”.
And you know what? You’ve been down there, you may even have scars from the last time. You’ve lived long enough to know what it’s like to fall and to fail. Now get back up because you have the tools to dust yourself off, put on the gloves and get back into the ring, (queue "Eye of The Tiger").
Okay, now I’m even confused by all these metaphors and references. Point is, if everything is going exactly as you hoped, I’m happy for you. Ecstatic, really. But it’s likely that you will have set backs and need to call your mom at 10 p.m. just to vent.
I don’t have all the answers, we’re all just figuring it out. But the best suggestion I have for you is if you have to quit a new job after a day and a half, find a $25 parking ticket tucked under your windshield wipers and Netflix decides to log you out and you don’t know the password all on the same day, just breathe.
I can’t guarantee that things will work out the way you had planned despite the setbacks, no one can. But I can guarantee that the more rounds you’re conscious for, the more opportunity you’ll have to learn for the next time (that’s how boxing works, right?).
Breathe. Be open to new things and new people. I get it, the introvert side of me would rather curl up with my Maya Angelou autobiography too, but this is a new start for you, and if you reject it then I promise it will reject you too.
So, get out there Tiger and show ‘em what you’re made of.