This is been something I’ve been musing about for a while now – probably a couple of years. It seems to me that there’s a rash of quarter-life crises going on among people my age. The age between, say, 28 – 36 ish.
We are the Lost Generation. We are the sons and daughters of the baby boomers which leaves us out of the running for Generation x and definitely out of y. If there is an official name for us – the W gen? – then please let me know. Otherwise, I think there’s something to the idea of being the Lost Generation.
We – the general we – seem to be very disenchanted with life these days. We do not want just “A Career” and in fact, we seem more willing to toss the whole thing in favour of the idea of following our dreams. We seem to be more invested in the idea of Self, the idea that there is more to life than simply go to work, come home, eat, sleep, do it again. It’s as though we’re more willing to leap and see where we land, and to be open and explore what happens when we do land, rather than needing to KNOW. We’re willing to jump higher and further, be open to whatever may happen while we’re up there in the air. We’re also willing to make serious course changes at the drop of a hat. Gimme a good reason, and I’m in. (OK, sometimes the good reason can be “there’s a kick ass beach over there” or “there’s black sand!” or “the market is GORGEOUS” and I’m yours. Getting me to change course is not that difficult.)
What we DO know is that when we land, wherever and whenever we do, we will do so on our feet. We will be taken care of – we will be caught when we leap. We are a group of people who understand that if we try something and screw it up, the world will not end and life will go on.
It’s not like our parents – for the most part – were lifers. They’ve for the most part, held more than one career in their lives. We are likely to hold 6 or more “gigs” throughout ours.
Our parents may not have stayed together and many of us were the quintessential latchkey kid. Now, we want to stay home with our children and we’re finding ways to do that (particularly if our parents didn’t, I think) and we’re having children much later in life. I don’t think that kids are necessarily a given for my generation.
We want more from life – from our job through to our children, our pets, our lives. We expect to live big and loud. It’s not just a play hard work hard -gruntgrunt- mentality.
We are, or perhaps it’s simply me and therefore the people I am attracting, more spiritual. We eschew the regulated religion. We are not a generation that has ever really been attracted to traditionally organized religion. Some of us stray away from it in droves and turn towards yoga, homeopathy and quiet, non-medicals ways to resolve issues. Some of us – those perhaps have grown up more in the tradition of and then faded away, have discovered that they need the structure of the spirit. We’re all doing the same thing – no matter what you call it, we’re all worshiping or revering some sort of higher power. Not all of us have named this power – it might be God for some of us, for others, it could the The Universe, or even ‘uh, yeah, so…I need to talk to you’.
We are more willing to admit our mistakes and shortcomings, and when we find them, we do something about them. We own our issues and want the criticism. It will help fix us.
What I’m seeing more and more is that this large group of us – this Lost Generation – is making big, dramatic moves, we’re throwing our hands up and changing our world, not for the greater good, but simply for our own good. We want more. To make us happy, because that ultimately benefits the greater good. We are a more enlightened generation than ever before.
I’m musing here…I know there’s a movement afoot and I’m smack in the middle of it. Many of my friends are as well. Let’s see if we can’t turn this into a generation of real societal movement instead of yet one more group of people, plodding along in our little lives, with our little plans.
You with me?