Millennials and Adulthood

I think one of the most infuriating things about being a “Millennial” is the fact that the generation before us doesn’t seem to take us seriously.

Hearing comments from the Baby Boomers and Generation X like, “Welcome to Adulthood” “Adulthood isn’t all it has cracked up to be, has it?”, or the ever sarcastic, unwanted invitation of, “Welcome to the real world”. As if our struggles through finals week, in college was all just a bad hallucinogen trip.

We are put into a category of “entitled”, “lazy”, “selfish”, the list goes on and on, and yet, seldom do we fit this tight narrow minded view of ourselves. With these confounded credit cards, and the debt we had dug our way into trying to afford an education.

Not to mention the technology we are so attached to, neglecting the fact that we may, in fact, be checking work email, or comforting a friend whose parents don’t understand their mental illness.

It isn’t that we are failing expectations of past generations, or that we are somehow unsuited to grow into adulthood without past generations’ supervision, it is that we are different.

Our goal is no longer to be married with kids by the time we are 20. It isn’t that we don’t want a good house, car or job, but it has become exponentially more difficult. Healthcare prices, cars, education, housing, everything has increased in price. As Millennials, it is our decision to choose what necessities we actually “need”, and what gets cut off the list. Some continue to live with their parents, some decide to rely on other modes of transportation, we try and stay on our parents’ insurance for as long as possible.

We sit and do the math, living paycheck to paycheck, wondering what should be paid first and what can wait a little while longer. The decisions from past generations impacted where Millennials are today, but they don’t want to admit that. The fact that prices didn’t change overnight, and the adults that were supposed to be looking out for future generations didn’t screw us over….well guess what, you did.

I feel to be one of the few, one of the blessed. I graduated college on a scholarship. Got a full time job, with benefits, right out of college in the field I studied for. My apartment is small, drafty and expensive, but it has hot water, carpet, and everything else I could want. I am able to see my therapist every week, and it not costing me an arm and a leg.

This too, did not happen overnight. Baby Boomers and Gen X, you don’t get to take credit for my accomplishments, when you are the reason I had to work so hard to overcome it. I live paycheck to paycheck, I also work ~100 hours every two weeks, so it is not for a lack of trying. It is that no matter how hard I try, I can’t get ahead.

So next time you call us lazy, selfish, and entitled, I want you to look around. If you are at work, I bet there is a Millennial close by trying to get ahead. If you are at the coffee shop, I bet the barista behind the counter is a Millennial, trying to pay her rent, or car, while going to school.

 

Radical Acceptance of my Past

I genuinely believe it has taken me this long to finally comprehend radical acceptance.

Being a young, white woman in her early twenties, with a college education automatically puts me in the category of cliché/privileged; and I would be an idiot to disagree. Then throw in the facts that I’m from a family with divorced parents, middle class, and struggled with an eating disorder, and it sounds like any Lifetime movie you have seen that screams cliché.

I’ve also accepted the fact that my past is not something I should hide, but looking back I am grateful and have come to terms that my mom did the best she could.

That does not make what she has said or done in the past acceptable, but I do not feel a lump of resentment in my chest anymore.

My goals, hopes and aspirations as a child was never to have my parents divorce, move 9 hours away to a different state, have my mother become an alcoholic, live with my pastor and his wife, have an eating disorder, turn to cutting, go to every school in the county, but you play with the hand you were dealt.

I am not saying all of this for pity or sympathy.

On the contrary, growing up, I wouldn’t have thought I would be in solid recovery from my eating disorder, become a biochemist, have a German Shepherd, travel to Germany, or have a full ride scholarship to college.

Spending almost a week with my cousin almost makes me thankful for how I was raised, almost. My cousin is still in college, her parents are not divorced, she has three dogs in the suburbs, and has traveled to various places thanks to her parents. During this week, I heard thank you maybe three times, and two of those times was when I was dropping her off at the airport.

She decided to inform me of how she recently broke up with her boyfriend, but had already been spending nights at another guy’s house. The story of wearing leather pants to the bar, but not sleeping in them when she went to his house. Now, I know I am no better than anyone else, I have messed up, I have many many faults, but these are stories I didn’t care to hear.

Instead of visiting the market, or letting me take her to the park, she wanted to go to the mall. When we went out for coffee, she proceeded to whine about the syrup at the bottom of her ice coffee and how she “knew it was going to be an issue the moment I saw her making it.”. When we went out for dinner, she answers the phone in the restaurant. Whistling at me like a dog across the length of a store to get my attention. While we are supposed to be hanging out, she decides to make phone calls, then tells me about how her ex cornered her side guy at the bar.

While in Baltimore for a day, I bought two coffees purposely. My cousin scoffed, complained about something else, and judged me for the two coffees in my hands. As we were walking back to the car there was a man at an intersection with a handwritten cardboard sign (pretty common in that area). I walked up to him, wished him a Happy Monday, handed him the coffee and two packs of sugar, and was given a, “Thank you miss, God Bless.” In return.

I am thankful for individuality, and pray ceaselessly for patience, humility and happiness, but this week was very difficult for me. I’m thankful that I am practically 23 going on 60, and am thankful for gratitude and manners that my mom instilled in me. I fully believe in showing others the same respect that I would want, and be treated in the same manner. I believe in forgiving others for mistakes, because what if that was you one day. Regardless of title, CEO, Janitor, or Security Guard, everyone is a person and has a story.

My mother may not have been perfect, but I also do not correct others if it isn’t important, I consider myself a pretty optimistic person at times, and try to not nit-pick at others, even though I may fall short many times. So, I will focus on the good, be thankful for what I have, finish my glass of wine, and curl up with a book.

All in His timing pt. 2

That job I talked about in the last entry, well, I thought I didn’t get it. I received an email that led me to believe they were going with another candidate. I was a little upset at first, but tried to reframe my thinking, and put my trust in God. I told myself that I was to trust Him in the good and the bad. I can’t pray for His will to be done, then get mad when I don’t get what I wanted. I figured He had something better in store, was thankful for my job I currently had, and went on with my life.

Shortly after that email, I fell in love with a rescue dog at the shelter. She was to be sent away just to be put in another shelter. My landlords have a strict no dog or animal policy. I sat and talked with them for a while, promised nothing would happen, was respectful, and the couple gave me the ok. I was shocked honestly, I feared they would say no. The last people in the house had let their dog ruin everything, they would never go for this, especially when they had just remodeled so many aspects of this house. They said yes though!  I was thankful for God’s timing, and that I was able to get her. Figuring this was part of the plan, new job or not.

Then, I received a phone call Monday. I saw that it was from my potential employer. I figured they were calling to make sure I had received the email. I was already preparing myself for the, “We appreciate your time and coming in to see us, but unfortunately we have chosen to go with another candidate….” Speech. So, to my surprise when the voice on the other end said something to the extent of, “We would love to offer you a position here at our company.” I was shocked.

I asked if I could have a couple days to think it over. During this time I prayed that if this wasn’t right to shut the door, or to give me peace about this decision. I made a pro/con list, made a worst/best case scenario list, went over it a thousand times in my head.

Worst case of going, I hate it, I move back.

Best case scenario of taking the job, I love it and so does the dog, and I get a house.

The worst that happens here is that my roommate becomes a total bitch, I lose my dog and things stay the same.

Best case scenario of staying here…. Things pretty much stay the same…

Woah, wait what…. That was pretty much the deciding factor.

Taking this job would mean moving about nine hours away. So far though, everything has been amazing with God’s timing. By not getting the job to begin with, I was able to get my dog. My landlords actually said yes, and I got her. Then. I get offered the job. I hesitated, and still do hesitate about going, but I am trying to keep my faith that this is the right thing.

 

Trust the Process

xoxoxo

Future

About a week or so ago one of my friends and I got together. We hadn’t seen each other since she left treatment back in December. We had dinner together, laughed together, caught up, then she came over. We finished off the evening by watching Gilmore Girls and having a couple glasses of wine. It felt great to be able to attempt to be “normal” and enjoy my evening with a great friend.

Recently, this guy and I have been talking, we have been going out together quite frequently and we may even be an item. He is such a great guy and I really enjoy his company.  The few dates my potential boyfriend guy thing and I have done have involved waterfall hiking, walking around a cutesy little town, dinner, lunch. We actually have a list going of stuff we need to do. On that list recently was a waterfall, and I made him try a kale smoothie, that he actually didn’t hate! He is offering to help me move when I need it, and he texts me “Good Morning” almost every morning. He has offered to go to yoga with me and doesn’t judge me for my “hippie dippie” tendencies.

He is so sweet, patient and smart. He tolerates me so well, and I’m not sure if we are an item, or what we are, but I honestly feel lucky. He deals with my quirks and indecisiveness very well. He doesn’t know about treatment or anything like that, he does know I go to dietitian appointments, and doesn’t judge me for that. Actually, today I told him I ate half of a banana which is big for me, and he congratulated me!! Earlier today I sent him a picture of me hand feeding wild baby ducks, he called me a Disney princess and was impressed.

I am wearing myself out working as much as I am. I work ten, sometimes twelve hour days, typically 6 days a week, sometimes more. It is exhausting, but at the same time I don’t do well with a lot of free time on my hands, so working is probably the best option. I have gotten a new tattoo, I signed the lease on a house, and have a roommate, we move in together in two days!!! Stuff is changing. I am worried but excited. Feeling so ridiculously anxious about the house and all these changes I’m not sure what to do.

I feel like I’ve been in a pretty good place mentally and emotionally lately and feel like it is silly for me to continue to go to my outpatient appointments, but at the same time it is silly to not go and risk everything falling apart, especially in the middle of all the changes. It has been freeing, even if just a tiny tiny bit, but freeing none the less, to focus more on work, packing, my boyfriend and the new house, rather than every single calorie in my body.

Trust the process!!

xoxoxo