I’ve often said that, while you do have to get older and more mature, you never have to grow up. This is usually just before I buy myself a LEGO set or play some old game from my childhood. This is also acknowledging that for me to act like a teenager (when I am not) is immensely unappealing, and that I will ultimately have to make adult decisions.
What occurred to me is that, at the tender young age of 30 (31 later in the week), I’ve never really felt like an adult. Hypothetically, I have been one for some time: Legally speaking, 12 years. I’m nearing the point where I’ve been licensed to drive for half of my life. Given the preponderance of Tumblr posts and memes on the topic, I feel like I am not alone in experiencing this sensation.
I’ve written before about how many of the people writing about Millennials are more in need of brains than zombies are, but I didn’t really suspect an ulterior motive. I’m generally pretty optimistic. However, it seems to me that the writers of roughly 90% of all anti-Millennial thinkpieces are written by the Baby Boomers, and are at the very least contributing to the “I’m not an adult yet” mindset. I was content to assume it was the ramblings of people genuinely concerned but completely baffled by “the kids.”
For possibly the first time in the history of the internet, what changed my mind was actually a meme:
It seems that, if this is not intentional, then it is the work of the generation that never seemed to grasp the phrase “Self-fulfilling prophecy.” I also note, with some chagrin, that there’s a tendency for non-Millennials with strong opinions on the generation tend to be the same crowd who lament the “Pussification of America” (and I use the term only because it’s one of theirs).
I do know this: We are adults. We don’t have to start acting like them, because we have the opportunity to define what that is. We don’t have to follow the model being laid before us by the loud-mouthed Baby Boomer crowd, and generally, we’re not. We’re more than capable of the adult decisions we have to make.
I’m hoping not to come across as ageist, but I believe the opening volleys in this “war between generations” was fired by the older generation. As I’ve remarked before, we hate to be typified and categorized–there is even a bit of disdain about being lumped in with “Millennials” every time I hear our generation described–but non-Millennial writers have been trying to class us as “unprofessional.” “selfish” and “vapid.”
Perhaps we should pity them, for they are ultimately clinging a losing cause. When I think of the majority of politicians, I envision old, aging men clinging loosely to the reins of power they don’t yet want to give up. The have had their turn, but are unwilling to let anyone else give it a shot–they’ve earned it, we haven’t. At least, that’s what I hear when people make arguments against, for example, gender equality and gay marriage.
But then again, what do I know? I’m only just an adult…
Note: Perhaps I just need more caffeine. I am writing early on a Monday morning…