Dear Generation X, You Jelly? Love, Gen Y

Should we be offended by this? I mean, I’m sure we should, at least a bit. Lazy? That’s original. The generation right before yours used to refer to you as the “productive and efficient” generation, right? Or does the term “slacker” ring a bell?… Entitled? Narcissistic? Um…we’re in our fucking twenties and thirties. It’s not a generational tick. It’s what happens to the body when it “twenties” itself. And don’t even start with the “still live with their parents” thing. Many of us were still in high school and college when Generation X took a giant steaming dump on the economy and called it progress.

To say that I, and my twenty-and-thirty-something counterparts believe that everything is about us is half true. It’s also wholly true. From where I’m standing, everything is about me. I have no kids or spouse or real commitments, so, yeah. My life, for the moment, is mine. To criticize a young person for enjoying their youth makes you guys sound like, and there’s no better word for it, haters. I don’t have all of your responsibilities because it’s my choice to enjoy that I don’t have those responsibilities yet. Just like you enjoyed your lack of responsibility in your twenties. Not to mention, the world is and always will be, for the young people. New ideas only ever spread because those who are too stuck-in-their-ways to understand (or even try to understand) it, die off, and those open-minded youth who can accept that things might be different than what they were taught, embrace it.

Oh, let’s talk about this idea that Generation Y all think they are amazing and perfect… Some of us are like that. They are called narcissists. You don’t see as many of them in older generations because they either pretend it’s not there to get ahead (narcissism is not as accepted in middle and old age), or they died already (narcissists experience more stress in their lifetimes and often abuse substances). I don’t think I’m amazing and perfect. I barely know anyone who thinks they are amazing and perfect. I compare my relationship with myself, to my relationship (once again) to the HBO show Girls. There is not one character on that show that I, or anyone I’ve spoken to, would like to hang out with. Not one. So why do we watch it? Because we see ourselves in the characters, in their quirks and flaws, in their complete lack of direction, in their misguided actions. We can’t stand them, but we can totally relate to them. Likewise, I know I have flaws too numerous to count, but I give myself a break because I know I’m doing the best I can with them. Hopefully, as I age I will view myself and the world with increasing understanding, and I will make fewer, or at least less harmful mistakes. But the beauty of being in your twenties is that you have to try really, really hard to make a mistake that you don’t have time to fix. By comparison, when Gen X fucks up, they fuck all the way up.

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