I'm SO sick of publications printing stories about "Poor 20-somethings and their misfortune in careers". I for one am 24 and ridiculously happy. Maybe a bit dissatisfied at times (probably from all the propaganda that encourages me to be dissatisfied) but this is a great time to be a 20-something. Maybe I didn't want the career, the Mercedes, the mansion, the prep-school education husband, and the fucking 2 kids.
1.) Everything is in style. All types of fashion, art, music, and lifestyles are cool.
In the fashion world: vintage, modern, preppy, cheap, expensive, second-hand, knitted yourself, $1000 manolo pumps and $5 thrift store loafers---> all COOL.
In music: bluegrass, rap, hip hop, electronica, rock, jazz, mash-ups... guys on the street that bag empty trash cans with drumsticks,... whatever you're grooving, 2011 accepts.
In lifestyles: you can be in a studio, or an apartment with 3 random roommates, or living with your parents, or living out of a backpack hopping from hostel to hostel.... and anywhere you live with whatever decor, lamps, art pieces, craigslist furniture you choose---> it's all "in" today.
How freeing to be able to choose from all things you want in this melting pot of art, media, and style and still be considered "hip".
|Expressing your inner carnival|
|Wearing your politics... also cool|
2.) I happen to be doing better than my parents were at my age. Do you know what your parents were doing at age 24? Mine was not living their lifelong dream of some career or making a 6 figure paycheck. She was doing what I'm doing: working, drinking cheap drinks, and sneaking into bob dylan shows. I don't think she got a "career" until her 30s. Other parents when they were our age were were living cheaply off low paying entry-level paychecks. I'm tired of reading these articles that says "this is a generation that will not surpass their parents". Bullshit. If I'm 50 and not making six figures, we can talk then.
|Me being 23, tough life|
3.) Travelling to find oneself is encouraged. Want to have an "eat, pray, love" experience. Society not only encourages but endorses this. If you want to go paint pictures in Rome of a year or work as a skipper on a yacht in Australia... everyone will think this is the best idea in the world.
|Sketching in Italy|
4.) Carefully chosen and personalized friends. We all have the most specialized people in our lives that we picked out just for us. 30-40 years ago you had to be friends with the people that happen to live where you happen to live or worked where you happen to work. Also when you got married, you had to marry people that were in your town. There was none of this "I don't like this guy maybe I'll log in to jay-date or take the train to New York to see if the dating pool is better there". Now, if you meet the man of your dreams on a vacation in China, you can keep in touch on Skype and instant messenger. We are moving around a lot more. We have Facebook, we have phones, we can pick the people we like and keep in touch with them anywhere we are.
5.) My job does not define me. Why would I want my role in society to be defined as my contribution to the work force? I have a friend who used to live in DC who once told me that the FIRST thing everyone asked her at a bar is "so what do you do for work?" I'm so sick of this notion that my job at a non-profit doing event planning and other shit I don't to talk about in my free time somehow "draws conclusions about the person I am". In modern times, you can meet some intelligent people that are bar tending or making cupcakes at a bakery or working as a receptionist. There is so much more depth in people then their career choice and I think that's pretty cool.