Generation X bites reality right back

One of my favorite topics (my generation) by a great writer (from my generati0n). (Thanks for this, Scott O.)

And my additional $.02/$200:

Damn straight, we were latchkey kids. Damn straight, we only got trophies when we placed, not when we participated.

Damn straight, we brought you Google and Twitter – and VitaminWater and Pearl Jam. We were also the generation who convinced employers that working remotely, flex time, and casual attire were worth more than corner offices and gold watches. And that an individual contributor was just as critical – if not more so – than middle management waste. You have us to thank for that.

And P.S. I lived at home during college and for four years after college – first to save money on room & board, and then to save money for a down payment on a condo. I drove a 1981 Toyota Tercel that I bought myself for $1,700. I ponied up for the insurance and gas too. I worked part-time all through high school and college. And for the record, I made $14,750 a year in my first “real” job out of college – in 1995. My then-boyfriend-now-ex-husband couldn’t even find a job out of college – for two straight years. He used his mechanical engineering degree to work at a frame shop while living at home, paying off his student loans, and saving for that aforementioned down payment.

I didn’t have opportunities to travel the world until I was nearly 30 and had a good chunk of corporate slavery under my belt to foot the bill. I also spent most of my twenties working for less than $35,000 a year and often cleaning conference room coffee pots and pitchers of curdled cream. But I sucked it up and did it with a smile and to the best of my abilities – because that’s just part of the deal sometimes.

It may seem that I’m embodying the “whininess” my generation is often touted for. But I just want to make it clear that times haven’t changed too much in terms of the struggle that awaits post-Pomp-and-Circumstance. Everything happens when it’s supposed to. And it often isn’t easy. It also gets harder and scarier the older you get – but you grow more resilient and trusting of the blessings of time. You learn that it truly is all about the journey – because the destination is a myth. There may be milestones along the way, but when the journey ends, you haven’t arrived. You’re dead.

In the meantime, attitude is everything. And entitlement is non-existent.


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