I’m a millennial.
I was the child who played outside. I raced down hillsides, and swam in creeks. My bicycle was my ticket to freedom. I was carefree and lived without the constant supervision of my parents. My friends and I were eternal; we lived without fear.
I’m a millennial. I had dreams of a promised future.
I was the kid who played Nintendo. I learned how to be cool by watching high school sitcoms. I stretched the phone cord to find some privacy as I talked behind my bedroom door. The B side of my favorite cassette serenaded me to sleep. I watched as the greatest athletes dominated the record books in every sport and imagined myself in their shoes. I decided on all my favorite brands.
I’m a millennial. I believed what I was told.
I was the teenager who grew up way too fast. I learned about sex in school, from friends, and over the internet. A chat room was my first experience with a cyber-bully. Over the years of my young life, I inhaled second hand smoke in living rooms, restaurants, and cars. I fueled my growing body on processed food. Television said that pharmaceutical drugs were the cure. In a prospering job market, I was led to believe that the key to success lies in a college education. I felt the panic of Y2K. I saw the towers fall in my high school classroom.
I’m a millennial. I lived with the broken dreams of a promised future.
I was the adult who was told that school was the answer. I attended college, but was overwhelmed with pressure and fear. I lived in a so-called world of endless possibilities, but couldn’t make up my mind on where I wanted my life to go, what I wanted to do. My sense of direction became more foreign to me as each day passed. I dropped out of school and joined the work force. I chased the American dream, acquired debt, a family, and a life. I lived paycheck to paycheck.
I’m a millennial. I placed the blame on others.
I was the one who was told that it was possible to move up in the world. If I followed the rules and worked hard, I was to be promoted. I was the one who got stabbed in the back by a co-worker. I settled with my fate, and let go of my dreams. I saw the corruption in big corporations and the government. Transparency was a lie. I waited for someone to make a change. Complacency took hold of my life.
I’m a millennial. I see where I have been and where I am now.
I no longer wait for someone to make a change. I am the one who made a change. I see how fast the world changes and how uncertain times can be. I no longer point the accusing finger at others for the shortcomings in my life. I stand firm on who I am and what I believe in. I have found my calling. I no longer have doubts, or live in fear of failing. I look forward to the opportunities that the future holds. I have learned from all the experiences in my life and am thankful for them. I will make the future the best it can be for the next generation.