Some say we’re the “new workforce.”
Others refer to us as a bunch of instant gratification seeking 20-30 somethings who are too impatient to learn the ropes. Whatever the case, the word “Millennial” seems to have a negative connotation associated with it.
You see, I’m in that category.
I’m old enough to know what a typewriter is, but young enough to remember the stress of choosing an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) name in elementary school. I remember floppy disks and Tamagotchi’s, but can also pull rhetoric from Dr. WEB DuBois’s infamous literary work, “The Souls of Black Folk.”
I remember when emoji’s were called “emoticons”, and can recall when BlackPlanet, Xanga, and Myspace ruled the cyber world long before Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. I work in Digital Marketing as a profession, but can remember when I was not allowed to “log on” to the internet until after 10pm because it tied up my parents’ phone line.
I’ve been called an old soul, but everyone’s jaw drops when I tell them I was born in 1990 – so where does that leave me?
I used to feel caught between two generations.
I loved talking with church mothers, seasoned vets in the game, and people who were old enough to be my grandparents. I would love to just sit at their feet and listen as they maneuvered through conversations, dropping advice and wisdom like nuggets to whoever would lend an ear.
I would end up showing my age sooner or later, because I would be so excited and giddy about what I was learning. I felt awkward being able to play both sides of the fence, but now I absolutely love it.
To those anomaly millennials who are like me and go against the grain – relax. It’s a great place to be! You see, we are on the cusp.
On the cusp of what, you may ask? Of greatness!
In my few short years as an “adult”, I’ve learned that there is so much power in just being true to who you are, whenever an opportunity presents itself.
The 20’s are a roller coaster; and I’m only half way through (I hear it gets better in your 30’s, but I’ll let you know when I get there). Yet, it’s a great time to explore and listen.
Listen to the 40 somethings who take you out to coffee because they see potential in you.
Listen to the teenyboppers who watch your every move and ask you for advice (trust me, they are looking).
Listen to your gut because it never steers you wrong, and above all, listen to the voice of God who is feeding you inspiration and direction; because you’re going places.
If there was one thing I would tell my 18 year old self, it would be: “Take risks and enjoy the ride.” See, our tenacity and faith within ourselves will get us there – wherever that “there” is.
We have the power to believe and put into action anything we want to do. But we have to be smart about it. Scratch that – we need to be wise about it.
In the ’94 movie “The Next Karate Kid”, Mr. Miyagi says a pivotal line, “Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land.” You see, it’s not enough to just be “smart” anymore. Degrees are becoming a commonality. You have to know how to use that intelligence to leverage a spot in this world.
Do not be afraid to ask questions, but also know what to do with the information when you receive it. Know how to make the most of opportunities. Know how to cherish friends and family.
Most of all, know how to hear the voice of God.
Ultimately, it will all come together – the career, the relationship, the degree, the family, the white picket fence…all that. I know it does not seem like it now, but keep pushing.
You will figure it out and you are not alone! Stay encouraged and continue to look up. We’ll get there.
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