So yes, I am a millennial. I was born in 1985 and I honestly don’t care what generational label I am bucketed into based on the year of my birth. I understand that each generation is significant for what happened during that time. The general overarching personalities of each individual are going to have similarities that identify us as “millennial’s.” What I’m saying here, is that I recognize it is more than a “label” but at times it seems to be nothing more than a commentary joked about in the media. Of course, the era I grew up in had an effect on me. How could it not? I remember the days of household landline phones that were attached to the wall and it was a big deal when your friend had a cordless phone in their home. I remember the days before everyone had a computer in their home. I got my first computer when I was 16. 16! Now my 6-year old son has a computer class once a week and he’s only in 1st grade! I’m sure he will have computer homework long before he turns 16.
Why am I talking about being a millennial? Do I even care about it? Slightly. I slightly care about the stereotypes given to my generation and of course I care when someone stereotypes me personally simply based on the year I was born. But, at the end of the day do I lose sleep being concerned over the fact that I’m a millennial, nope – it doesn’t bother me one bit. I embrace the jokes and chatter that comes my way regarding this topic.
Recently a woman came into the bar I was working at and me being the outgoing chatty person I am, started a conversation with her. She was very impressed with the super dry martini I had made and was expressing her gratitude saying she was going to come back and see me again. This of course brought me to tell her I would be “retiring” from bar-tending in a few days (yes, I had put in my proper 2 weeks notice), and she wanted to know the reasons why. I explained that I needed to spend more time at home with my son (since prime bar-tending hours are when he is home from school I had missed a lot of time over the past 2 years), also I needed a break from that type of work.
At some point in our conversation I made the statement “you only live once.” I mean, shit, it’s true and I believe you need to recognize that and make the most out of your life. It will pass by in the blink of an eye and before you know it you’ll be looking back on your life wondering what happened and why you didn’t do X – Y or Z. This woman, in a nice way, made the comment that she hates the millennial saying YOLO (you only live once). I wasn’t offended, and the conversation continued along, with her wishing me the best of luck after I “retired” and that she was sorry I wouldn’t be around to make her martini’s in the future.
I was thinking though, during our conversation, why is the saying “you only live once” a mantra for millennial’s? Are we the first generation (and only generation) that embraces and recognizes we have this one life to live so lets live it to our fullest? Maybe we are. But, I do find that hard to believe. Recognizing we have one life to live and choosing to live the best most adventurous life we can is not something that only millennial’s believe in. Is it? I’ve meet enough people both older and younger than I that have come to the same place I’m at. They want to embrace life, take the bull by the horns and have the adventure of a lifetime! I’m 33 years old, by no means am I professing to have my life all figured out. Shit, I’m a hot fucking mess 90% of the time, but I keep going forward because when I look back on my life I do not want a single regret. Circumstances and situations have brought me to this place and I plan on sharing my experiences with anyone who wants to hear them.
I plan to teach my son to embrace life, love, happiness, learning, and experience something new every day. Recognize that trials and tribulations, they will come. Embrace them too. Learn from them, grow and be stronger because of the good and the bad times.
Carpe Diem (Dictionary): the enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future
The Roman poet Horace had it right, we need to enjoy life while we can. I’ve had far too many reminders already that in the blink of an eye it can all be taken away. I do not want to live in fear of the unknown so instead I want to have as many adventures as possible in my time here on earth.