I want to start this week by playing a game with you all.
Who likes soup? *raises hand*
And how many different kinds of soup can you think of? Let me start us off:
Chicken Noodle, Italian Wedding, Chunky Beef Stew, Split Pea, Butternut Squash, Clam Chowder, Broccoli Cheddar, Chicken Tortilla, Loaded Baked Potato, Chicken and Wild Rice, Cream of Mushroom, French Onion… I could go on forever and that’s just what is in my pantry.
Let’s pick one – Chicken Noodle.
Now. What happens when we buy 3 different brands of the same soup? Do they all look the same when we pour them into our bowl? Not likely. One probably has swirly noodles, and one has long noodles, and one has flat noodles (like Panera Bread Chicken Noodle- YUM). But they’re all Chicken Noodle. The same, but different. The same label on the outside, but the stuff on the inside makes them all different.
They have the same label on the outside, what’s on the inside is what makes them different.
So. Let’s talk about something ridiculous:
You know where labels belong? On soup cans, on perishable foods, on the storage bins in my grandmother’s attic that haven’t been touched in three decades. You know where labels don’t belong? On humans.
DO I LOOK LIKE A SOUP CAN TO YOU?
You know what label I really hate most? No, it’s not feminist, or corporate lackey, or ginger. It’s Millennial.
If you look Millennial up in the Miriam Webster’s dictionary you get the adjective first: “of or relating to a millennium”. Next, we have the noun: “a person born in the 1980s or 1990s —usually plural”. When you look Millennial up in the Urban Dictionary, you don’t get anything anywhere near as kind. Definitions written by anonymous internet trolls trashing the people of my generation, citing us as being lazy, entitled, “special”, inept, politically out of touch, fiscally irresponsible, self-absorbed, spoiled, dependent, shallow, idealistic, foolish, and that’s only from the first page of the definitions.
Recently, a friend posted a video online of a young man singing an A Capella song about Millennials. Trashing them, if you would believe that. (I’m sure my friend didn’t intend to be insulting in the slightest by sharing this video. The singer’s harmonies were really wonderful. However, I will not be sharing the video link. Read on-)
The generalities he was claiming in his lyrics were a little rude. If a girl wants to take a selfie, let her love herself. If a young man wants to wear a man-bun, don’t be bitter because your 9-5 requires you look like a businessman. (Not that Man-buns don’t have their place in business. You can do anything you want, no matter what your hairstyle. Or is that too optimistically Millennial of me?) You can live in your parents’ house until you get on your feet. Hell, I live in my parents’ house! (Bless them and their very kind, generous, loving selves that allow me to reside under their roof once again.) If it wasn’t going to cost me almost $1,000 a month to rent a one bedroom apartment in an area where I’m not likely to get shot, I would seriously consider moving out. But until I have more of a savings built and I’m steadier on my feet and I know where I want to establish myself, I don’t want to put myself out there and throw my money away on rent that I’ll never see again. I want to save for a small house, something that I can invest in and make money off of when I move out. How’s that for a fiscally irresponsible Millennial?
My point is that we’re not ALL this stupid Millennial concept. We’re not all lazy and entitled, stupid and shallow. Part of me wants to scream “WE ARE WHAT YOU MADE US TO BE” but I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that my participation trophies as a child (*cough* that the older generations gave us… *cough*) make me complacent and make me think that things should just be handed to me because I tried. Perhaps it’s optimistic, or foolish, or like totally Millennially idealist of me, but I can be who or what I want if I try and try and try again. And if that is what it means to be a Millennial, then so be it.
Better to be a dreamer than someone who tries to shoot the dreamers down.
I hope you’re all dreamers this week. Optimists, selfie takers, self-lovers, man-bun wearers, parents’ house dwellers (until you’re financially stable), participation trophy disregarders, political activists, world travelers, humanitarians, feminists, lovers, anything you want to be-ers. Anything except a can of soup.
You are more than a can of soup.
It’s so token Millennial of me to write a whole blog post about how this label is unfair, isn’t it? 😉