I’m here to tell you that you have been incepted. For this is a response to a response to a recent Huffington Post article titled, Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy. Mattie Kahn wrote a lovely article on the Man Repeller yesterday about the HuffPo article and I found myself drawn to the discussion. You should read one or both of them. The premise is that happiness=expectations-reality. Because our parents got more than what they bargained for, they forced all their hope onto us! They spoon-fed us too many dreams and zest for life!!!! GRRRR GRIMACE FACE DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE CHIPPER URL GRRR.
Here’s what I think and mostly what I said.
Maybe our generation is a bunch of experts at delusion, but I happen to think delusion is imperative for success. We have to secretly believe we could roll on set with Lena Dunham or get our demo in the hands of Mr. Fancy Pants right after college (or before if you’re Taylor Swift or Billy Gilman). Of course, the “problem” is that we actually have to work for it. Womp womp. Instagramming artistic photos of our creative smoothie concoctions is so much more fun though! Maybe I’ll work on that dream after I write a clever caption and decide if it’s good enough to also post to Twitter.
I don’t know the exact ratio, but I ASSUME every generation has ball busters and burnouts. We don’t hear about the latter because they didn’t make an impact. They were there in 1950 polishing their Red Ryder bb guns instead of actually shooting them, and they’re here now, reposting photos on Tumblr instead of actually shooting them.
Gen Y pros and cons: we have the capacity to multitask and move FAST. We also have more resources than ever before. Unfortunately, we can be jerks because we feel entitled to just about everything. “Will borrowed money for my education pay for my spring break trip? Well then yes, I SHOULD go.” “I’ve been at this job for a year now and while I still have a lot to learn, I don’t like that I have to report to ‘the man’. I wish I didn’t have a boss :(” We also have information overload.
Let’s be delusional but chill out until we “get there”. Let’s give our dreams a little push with a little work and let’s take gratitude seriously. We can be content starting today. I still think our parents were right in telling us we could be whatever we want to be, but I think it was assumed that the level of effort would have to match the level of the dream. Let’s be more decisive while we’re at it.
“You can do anything but not everything.” —David Allen
And yes, I am guilty of all of this. What do you think? Is there any fruit to be gained by lumping an entire generation together? Then collectively trying to decide how we feel about how we feel about said generation?
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*Photo from an Urban Outfitters catalog. Speech bubble by yours truly. Did I even need to credit that?