Saturday, December 28, 2013

Version 28.0

My favorite quotation: "While the astronauts, heroes forever, spent mere hours on the moon, I have remained in this world for nearly thirty years. I know that my achievement is quite ordinary. I am not the only man to seek his fortune far from home, and certainly I am not the first. Still, there are times I am bewildered by each meal have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination." ~from the Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

In a few hours I will be 28. Most people don’t celebrate 28 as it 
is not the big 3-0 but I think it is important to celebrate every year of life. Someone told me that 28 is the perfect age as you are not too old or too young.  According to the Telegraph, women are most happy at 28. I wrote before on the lessons of the 20s that I have learned so far. I will reflect on something I am noticing. This past year so much went on in my life and 27 has been an amazing ride. I have noticed changes in my personality that I consider improvements and I credit them to my growth over this year. I am not afraid of aging. In fact, I feel more confident as the numbers increase. I noticed that I have let go of some of my neuroses and I am much more comfortable and confident in myself. Never having been much of the type of person to put things off until the ideal moment, I really jumped head first into things this past year (job, moving, etc.) and I am continuing to do that into my 28th. Let’s go into it shall we?

General maturity seems to be a normal aspect of 28. In society’s eyes at 28, you're still in the acceptable zone of single (even though I am not single), but time is of the essence. Most of my good friends are in relationships or married and with kids. I think that when you start hitting the late 20s, for some the idea of having kids is not as gross as it used to appear (speaking for myself at least). I have also grown a new found respect for family members as I imagined them at my age and knowing we would have been friends. Thinking of how they were at 28 gives me a new take on what it is like for me. Most 28 year-olds are done with college and have most likely had a job or two or three in the workforce. It has taken me a while to get into the career grove even though I have been working since I was an early teenager. I am now building and actually have career goals and a somewhat tangible path towards them. In 2014 I will start by simply finding a mentor.  I learned I am a sensitive person with a lot of grit and I don’t really like to show my sensitive side. I love a good challenge and this year I challenge myself to even more personal growth.

When we are born we immediately learn 2 things: to cry and to smile. I do a lot of both but mostly laughing, as it is infectious. At 28, my Quarter Life Crisis, happened at and ended by mid-26. I made decisions a long time ago about the kind of person I wanted to be and how I would live my life. So I am continuing to hold nothing back. I know this year is going to be Ariel Version 28.0.  

For Articles on 28 from others click here and here

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Millennial Nesters Reflection

In my free time I love to read blogs of various topics: life, career, beauty/fashion, running, crafts, writing, etc. I suffer from being one of those people that have too many interests, what I label as ‘being all over the place’. I find some of these blogs offer a lot of reflection which I really enjoy being a millennial. The world is so super connected and there is a lot going on and reflection is the last thing my generation gets to unless its in a list format. This is the reason twitter; FB and buzzfeed are so popular with my cohort. 

"Millennial Generation" Source
In the last week I found two articles that somewhat contradict and I would like to reflect on them. One from the WBUR website, points out why millennials are not leaving the nest and how to 'nudge' them out. This assertion was based on recent studies. The other was on Idealist Careers and asserts that parents whatever their respective generation is, affects their children's generation  [insert millennials here] view of their careers. WBUR quotes the term  “emerging adulthood” coined by a Dr. Jeff Arnett referring to the period of life between adolescence and full-fledged adulthood. Dr. Arnett says this is the ‘exploration’ period where, between the late teens and late 20s, people explore their options before committing seriously to a career, home, or family. This article says that millennials are making these commitments much later in life than generations past.

Thankfully they did mention some reasons including:
  • Shift in the economy that necessitates more education
  • Rising marriage age
  • Increased sense of personal freedom over the past several decades
  • Job market

Poor millennials, we just can’t catch a break. Later on in the article parents are mentioned and how they really try boost the confidence of their children to live independently. Personally, this is pathetic to me. Most millennials, thankfully so, have changed the ‘American’ new ideal of kicking children out on the curb ay 18, perhaps not intentionally but for the reasons above. Many households in the US, particularly minority ones, have inter-generational households and not only it this good for the family but it is good for the economy. Imagine all those independent millennials during the crash and recession of ’08 and where they ended up. There is nothing wrong with living at home. I want to be apart of my family; this does not mean that I am not independent but that I want to be involved and yes the benefits are even better. Money saved and bills paid on time. I have friends that only see their rents a few times a month or a year. That’s unacceptable to me.  

Now Idealist Careers post (also based on a study) is saying that parents influence the working mentality and career choice of their children. While I don’t deny some of my career is influenced that way I disagree with the vast majority of this theory. It is like saying that if my parents were democrats, I will be a democrat.  This article contradicts the WBUR one simply because if that were so we would have less liberal arts folks in the work place these days and more of the technical workers the government keeps harping on. It is also ignoring the pink elephant in the room: past generations had an easier “emerging adulthood” than the millennials. This cannot be denied just look at the cost of education and inflation for starters.

The questions we should be asking and answering is not if parents influence their children’s careers or even if millennials are still nesting but rather how can we help millennials meet their professional objectives in a globalized world? It goes beyond these scientific and technical jobs being proposed and more to do with the various aspects of adulthood.  Millennials don’t fit the mold of past “emerging adults” and their generations, so why are we still trying to compare while kicking us out at the same time?