“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.” (Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club)
So I was reading this article at Huffington Post titled, “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy“, which posits that those who were born from 1970s to the mid 1990s are especially delirious snowflakes. The author compares Gen Y to the G.I. Generation and Baby Boomers, who basically had more limited options with their career, and where they would be going forward.
In some (most) aspects, the author is actually spot on. The kind of mentality that Gen Y-ers have is evident, personally as I observe my friends and colleagues who share the same sympathies. I’ve also looked at the comments section where there seem to be a lot of defensive feedback regarding the article.
I’m not against the author’s standpoint. In fact, I am personally guilty of thinking that I should be something by the time I was twenty-three (hello, Reality Bites reference), which I just turned into, and here I am. My self-esteem often gets trampled on when I visit Facebook and think, “where the hell am I going with my life?” Why are they so professionally successful, when I am stuck in this rut when I should be somewhere where such a thing as boredom does not exist?
We are whiny, restless, ambitious, and special. But that is because there are more opportunities than before. There is freedom to choose. There is greater access to information, and even more opportunity to be socially conscious and action-oriented. There is freedom.
In a conversation I had with my mom a week ago, I asked her whether she and her girlfriend still had plans to “boldly come out” to our highly conservative (religious) relatives, and if they had any idea about the two of them. She told me that they had agreed on not giving it a thought anymore, damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They didn’t need any more grand coming out celebration. For them, it’s enough that my relatives acknowledge her girlfriend’s presence, her love for us and my mom, however they might interpret it. She says they’re too old for some rabid family confrontation, and so are my religious relatives.
She also told me to violate what I can. In every generation, there will always be something or someone that violates norms and conventional practices. She said, I should let everybody know, even my relatives, how much I love my girlfriend, and just say it without any intention of hiding it. Take ten steps forward, never look back, and look at the world with much more consciousness and discernment as what was made accessible to them before. Sure, the world gets more competitive, and much more difficult at that, but take everything you can and learn from each experience. Who knows, one day someone might just take this freedom away from us. Until that day comes, do whatever makes you happy, chase your ambitions but keep your feet on the ground, and learn to fight when necessary.
And yes, this article. So much. Hahaha.