Growing up, I always identified myself as closer to the Generation X sensibility. My older siblings let manic panic swirl around their heads in the sink, and wore plaid flannel shirts and combat boots. They listened to music with screaming in it that made me yearn to be a teenager. But the older I get, the more I realize that I am 100% one of those annoying, whiny, dreaded Millennials. And it’s stressing me out!
Here are the top 6 things I do to make my stress worse:
What I think I’m doing: Placing all the things I want to do, food I want to cook, clothes I want to wear and ways I want to decorate my small hovel into something well photographed, trendy, idealized, and ORGANIZED.
What I’m actually doing: Wasting my precious time while I think “can’t afford, can’t afford, can’t afford!” or “sure, I could make challah from scratch, I’ve got time.” Furthermore, Pinterest makes me compare my life to a series of images that my life just isn’t. And will never be.
5. Putting off asking parents for money
What I think I’m doing: Character building! Shaping a strong sense of pride for having made it on my own!
What I’m really doing: Delaying the inevitable.
4. Watching Girls
What I think I’m doing: Letting Lena Dunham’s wry critique be the voice of my generation and soothe me in times of need.
What it’s really doing: Thinking, “I would never do that” or “stop whining or people will hate my generation” or “ok, I would do that.” Then, questioning how Hannah Horvath can possibly afford that apartment if Adam isn’t paying rent. Then, realizing how much cheaper my rent is. Then remembering that I might not be able to pay it.
3. Sitting in coffee shops and drinking a lot of coffee for a few hours
What I think I’m doing: Fun on the cheap! Contributing to the economy, for once! Supporting a local business! Being trendy and young and bohemian!
What I’m actually doing: Wasting money on something I have a giant container of at home.
2. Ordering pizza instead of making dinner
What I think I’m doing: Giving myself the night off from cooking, and enjoying a well-deserved treat.
What I’m actually doing: Wasting money and ingesting calories that my 19 year old self was far better at handling, especially this late at night.
1. Comparing myself to other generations
What I think I’m doing: Enjoying the cultural tradition of nostalgia and Americana and building up a sweet collection of polaroids that my kids can stumble across one day.
What I’m actually doing: Buying disposable cameras and not developing the film, and panicking because I didn’t get a job straight out of college in my chosen field even though that’s what I was promised! Gradually understanding that we are different and we shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone. Hoping there are others out there like me who understand.