Automated Privilege

I keep hearing, more and more, that the generation of kids coming out of college expect the world.  I guess I am/was part of that.  I’m part of the generation that was taught they could do anything.  When I was in single digits, I though I would become a nurse like my mom.  Then I thought I would be a volcanologist (we can do ANYTHING, right?), then a journalist, then an auto mechanic.  I ultimately finally finished a degree in Business after switching my major a total of 4x.

With this idea that we can do anything, I hear that kids expect to have it all, all the time.  I am surrounded by a lot of do-ers.  People trying everything to do what they want they love in life and make it turn into something, and I ache for them sometimes.  Yes, I want to be able to do what I want in life, but ultimately I have responsibilities.  I began working at 12 with babysitting, at 14 I got a job at a local restaurant as a cashier and continued to work, never taking a break for more than 2.5 weeks (except when my husband was ill), and I’m finally at the point in my life where I’m making decent money, I’m able to have some extras and life is pretty good.  I’ll be 30 this year.  I expected this to all come a lot sooner and I have to wonder if that’s “normal” or asking for too much?

I think that’s where expectation gets twisted.  Somehow, along the way, the “we can do anything” turned into “we can have everything.”  I’m at a point in my life where I want to get back to the basics.  I am thinking more long term about what bills I can pay off, what I can invest in.  I’m eating out less (or trying to), cooking home more.  I am looking up plants that grow naturally in this area, and purchasing more natural and organic foods.  I would love to be further in my career, but I love flexibility, so I stay where I’m at, enjoying it as I can.

We can’t have it all.  We just can’t.  Somewhere in there has to come sacrifice, and my concern for the generation coming up, the ones who expect to get it all, is that when life happens, you know, the sh*t hits the fan, husband dying kind of happens, they won’t know how to react.  Kind of like me when everything happened.

I don’t mean walking around on eggshells waiting for the sky to fall, but being intentional about the way you live, the goals you set for yourself, and the  things you want to achieve.  All the while knowing you will need to work for this.  Do they understand this or is this something you only learn the hard way?

I heard this song on the radio tonight and it made me think of all the stuff we take for granted.  I’m proud that I worked my butt off to get where I am, to get back much of what I lost, and am pretty psyched about my accomplishments.  I can only hope that for the next generation.


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