Love us or hate us, Millennials are a force of nature.
We grew up in the 90s. Our first introduction to politics (for many of us) was the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The economy was thriving and everything was so good that the Gods gave us Britney Spears to truly show they loved us. The 90s were a great time to be alive.
Unfortunately, the following decade wasn’t so great a time to come of age. Between the September 11th terrorist attacks and the implosion of the housing market and economy, all of our bright-eyed idealism was sucked out of us like some creepy kid who only eats the creamy fillings out of a Twinkie. Britney Spears also had a breakdown that she has never quite recovered from during this decade as well. So, you could say that when it rains, it pours!
Thankfully, ambition and a work ethic had been drilled into me for enough years before all of this happened that I wasn’t going to let some little thing like virtually no jobs get me down. No, that’s not how I roll. Instead, I am the brilliant kid who becomes mortal enemies with singer Debbie Gibson before he’s 21 (don’t worry, we’re made up and are cool now) and convinced his parents he was “so responsible” that they let him gallivant around Manhattan alone at the age of 16.
No, my problem wasn’t getting a job. I had one within two months of graduating from college – one using my degree and everything! What’s always been my problem has been saying no to things. I mean, I can say no to the pervy guy in a white van offering candy (well, depending on the candy because my momma didn’t raise no fool). But, I feel bad saying no to friends and colleagues who ask for my help.
To quote “Empire Records,” there are 24 usable hours in every day. And as someone who has watched the Jessie Spano takes caffeine pills episode of “Saved by the Bell” a few too many times, I try to make the most of those 24 hours. Because of this, I am an insane planner. I start planning my birthday party six months in advance and sends save-the-dates out around Memorial Day for a party at the end of September. I know exactly how many minutes it takes me to properly deodorize myself in the morning, look presentable, and get to work, so that I know how late I can sleep in. I also have an irrational fear that I’m going to die one night in my apartment and no one will find me until weeks later because of the smell. But when they find my body, my face will be half eaten by my cat…I should stop here to mention that I don’t own a cat.
My friends knowingly laugh that if I don’t have 15 different projects going on, I start to get antsy. Currently, I am blogging, training for a 10 mile race and mentoring new runners undertaking their first race, helping to launch a website, planning a fundraiser, finishing up the details for birthdaypalooza (that’s what I call it! Don’t judge my life), working freelance, maintaining a social life, plus working fulltime at a job that requires work on weekends to get everything done lately. My body has become immune to Red Bull and Mountain Dew. Either that or I am on the verge of being radioactive. Either/or, but if I’m radioactive, I hope Marvel gets someone good to play be in the inevitable superhero movie – and they better be good looking!
As you can see, I’m fantastically neurotic and I’m only getting worse the older I get. Much like the ever famous conversation that Shrek and Donkey have, I’m like parfait. I have layers and one day those layers are going to make some therapist very rich. They won’t even know what hit them when they first agree to take me on as a client. Along with the already diagnosed anxiety, there’s probably some undiagnosed A.D.D. that helps keep me twirling like a Tasmanian Devil. Thankfully, I drool less than the cartoon version.
In the meantime, I’m left to my own devices. For someone who will plan things down to the minute if given the chance, the important thing to remember is occasionally taking time to just veg out on the couch. It’s my coping mechanism. At heart, I’m an introvert, but I masquerade as an extrovert. So, when I am home alone with nothing to do, I’m on the couch cleaning out my DVR or watching reruns of “Law and Order: SVU.”
Sometimes, sometimes you just need some quality time with Mariska Hargitay. And maybe mozzarella sticks. Mozzarella sticks definitely help.