Last week my millennial coworker mentally disturbed me. Let me provide some context for a moment.
I’ve noticed various social topics from religion, gender, sexuality, etcetera play out in the media. Normally I don’t give it too many mental cycles because I am still in soccer mom mode. As a mother of 4 to include a set of twins, I do have my hands full.
Look, as a true GenerationXer I’m all about being “responsible”, thinking about topics such as
making sure the kids are taken care of
schooling options for the kids
paying for clothes and shoes for growing kids
rubbing together two nickels for a family vacation
handling elderly parents in retirement
Yet, I somehow managed to commit a stray mental cycle to this one topic…
Why don’t the millennials want to commit to anything?
Of course I do not believe all millennials are non committal, but I was curious nonetheless. I simply cannot identify with this phenomena and needed to know.
It’s around 930am, I’m sipping water because I cut out coffee in my quest to lose vanity pounds before summer. Breakfast was 2 boiled eggs and a slice of toast. What I really wanted was a Big N’ Toasted breakfast sandwich from Dunkin Donuts or Some Chick-n-Minis from Chick-Fil-A. This is the start of my day, coveting breakfast options I can’t enjoy. Less than a week in on my coffee hiatus, I’m sporting a low grade caffeine withdrawal headache, and I am already thinking about my lunch time 1/2 sweet potato and salad option. I think I’ve painted the picture already, no?
Sufficiently cranky from a lack of caffeine and yummy food, inexplicably I asked my coworker,
“Are you familiar with post modernism?”
If you don’t know what it is, take a look at this little graphic I found…
I struggled with this because….I’m not sure I have a handle on it. First, I’ve tried understanding how it’s defined. I took my time and looked on the web and found many instantiations of the same definition. Unfortunately these definitions were not easily understood. If I’m being honest, I felt as though the cited definitions were nothing more than someone trying to pontificate. What I surmise is
there is nothing concrete
no commitment to anything
right and wrong appears to be challenged daily
and facts are no longer facts.
Who would have thought the term “alternative facts” would now hold a place in our culture?
Many no longer want boundaries, firm lines, or anything deemed reliable. People simply want to do what they want to do with no consequence. I’m not so sure if there is even true purpose anymore. This is definitely not EXTANT if you ask me.
Okay, back to my weird moment. I’ve just asked,
“Are you familiar with post modernism?”
I promise you it just rolled off my tongue. It just did. Not sure if it was momentary turrets syndrome or some sort of foot and mouth disease. The interesting thing is my millennial coworker turned around and said “why of course I am”.
Like wow. Just like that. Almost as if I had just asked the dumbest question. It was cool though because this particular coworker is one of those who reads all the time, supports many charities, and has a slew of social belief buttons hanging in the cubicle space. Very open about everything.
So now I am staring (like a weirdo) because where do I go from here? Clearly I have gone “rogue” this day and opened Pandora’s box. The ball is in my court and the cat has most certainly gotten my tongue.
I have to say something. Anything.
“Why is it the millennials have difficulty committing?”
I’m not even sure why I would choose to engage in this sort of water cooler discussion in a place where we work with a high number of older (and I do mean ollllllllllderrrrrr engineers). The significance of the age difference is due to the extremely high number of older coworkers in their 60s and 70s who outnumber most of us. Yes, I cannot make this up. Many of them are on their second and third retirement and will not stop working. I swear there has been a mind meld because they seem to own the same pair of khakis, burp and pass gas, and sport the same yucky coffee cup. This is of course a separate discussion for another blog.
Alright back to the question, “Why is it the millennials have difficulty committing?”
My coworker laughed at me. That was the response I get? Apparently I am an undiscovered comedian. My coworker finally says something along the lines of, “I just had this conversation with some friends of mine and my roommate recently. We are growing up in an age where our parents are getting divorced late in life, suddenly becoming homosexuals, and possibly changing gender. We want to make the right decision the first time.”
There it is.
Now we are going back and forth on why I am finding it difficult to process this notion across several areas. The millennial representative I was having this conversation with told me they don’t feel the need to identify with a sex, gender, religion, or whatever. It is all about self identification. Many believe they should be able to self identify by any means necessary.
Where my angst lies is when facts are denied. I shared my concerns with my coworker regarding how I believe if I share my views then I am automatically painted as someone who is not accepting of others.
Gender Identity. For example, gender identify baffles me. How does one deny the genetic code of being a particular gender? Of course you can mutilate and change whatever you want on your body but your genetics (facts) say you are who you are. So if you want to change the physicality of your gender than so be it. At the end of the day, you will always be who you are. I was schooled on the differences between transgender vs body dysmorphia. Postmodernism suggests you can still be a different gender, or even a different being. I spoke with other millennial coworkers who schooled me on the 70 something different genders that are identified on Facebook (social media I don’t have an account for). It doesn’t matter if you are not genetically something, you can actually claim you are a Foxkin. Seriously? That is a real gender now apparently. Anyway, I guess I don’t care enough about what people do behind closed doors…I just dont understand the redefinition. Please forgive me folks as I try to get a handle on all these changes at once.
Sexuality is fluid. I shamelessly have been daily DVR’ing for the last 1.5 months the Wendy Williams show. It is my secret obsession to find out what is happening on Hot Topics. There was an episode with Kiki Palmer and she mentioned identifying with whoever is showing her love first. Depending which way the wind blows, determines her sexual orientation. So if you are born a boy, change physically into a girl, then claim to like boys, to me I still believe you are homosexual. You are genetically a boy who is interested in boys. My coworker told me that I am wrong because the boy who is now a girl identifies as a girl. I believe that factually, this transgender person is still a boy but may have psychological reasons for identifying as a girl. Nevertheless, today you can claim to be whatever you want. I’m still processing.
Race is fluid. You know I’m obligated by my own consciousness to mention Rachel Dolezal.
As a woman of the misplaced African Diaspora, (basically a regular ole black woman born and raised here in the USA), you can now claim to be whomever you want. So I found this Rachel person quite interesting because she is genetically white but decided she was a black woman. Of course, her racial identity should not matter… I’m just confused as to why she would claim to be black at all. Trust me, we are not associated with any forms of privilege here. In fact, we are generally looked at with tons of disdain… unless you are a rapper, singer, athlete…. or Oprah.
I can go on about this topic. I’m just trying to get to the point where I understand purpose in all of this. I mean I get it, people want to self identify how they please. What I don’t get is the denial of facts. Be who you are. I am just trying to get a handle on this new notion about identity and why it is even more important today.
Originally posted 2017-02-20 09:58:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter