About ‘millennials’

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster.

On the one hand, I’ve been invaded by an enormous positivism when seeing how events are developing in relation with the Coronavirus, both in Spain and in Scotland. I can see the phase 1, almost phase 2, in my Spanish home and I can see the prospect that, from June, things will start go back to normal as well in my Scottish home, which makes me think of the nearer possibility of going some place beyond the park and the riverside walk (and the supermarket, of course) AGAIN, and even having a wee beer with friends. Moreover, I have been reading and writing quite a lot lately, mostly poetry. This is such a good time for poetry, to be introspective and all that…

On the other hand, I’ve been feeling a bit down when I’ve realised that many of the things I do aren’t probably going to get too far or they’re even, and arguably, a waste of time. But that’s my inner cynical and negative sides, that sometimes come afloat.
However, the blow, the setback, the discovery that has made me feel my reality was going to collapse at once, that which has taken me to the lowest curve of this ride in this cruel theme park that we call live, is this:

Since the confinement started, I’ve been attending an online group called The Scribbler’s Union, organised by Kevin P Gilday, both a great Glasgow poet and a beautiful person. In this group some poetry lovers, some future poets even, share their time and creations for all the attendees’ literary enjoyment and benefit.
The problem started because a very nice girl started to read a poem she’d been working on for a couple of weeks which was addressed to the millennials. Myself and the rest of the people attending the virtual conference, nodded with a somewhat sarcastic smile, anticipating some laughs, and I listened very carefully, as always that I expect someone who is able to unite skill and sense of humour in an organic way, which is precisely something that Jenny – that’s her name – is very good at.

It turns out that I have always thought that millennials were the group of young people who were born after 2000, that is in the new millennium. My logic has some logic, right? Well, apparently I was wrong and I started to realise little by little, while the creative and funny Jenny was reading one verse after another, and making reference to many facts and collective myths with which I felt personally identified, that is Tetris, Mario Bros, Link, analogue childhood and digital adolescence, and many other points. So I thought:

– Wait a minute, what’s going on here?

After that moment of uncertainty, even horror because of what I was starting to suspect, I quickly went to Google (which is what we do from my generation on as a first resort) to search which is the millennials generation. It is apparently also known as Generation Y, which comes after the Generation X and is followed by the Z one, all of which made me wonder:

Will they start the alphabet again with after generations, just as they do when naming hurricanes?

Google itself answered me promptly, of course. They do so somehow, but they do it in a weird way, since the Generation Z is followed by Generation Alpha, that is the Greek letter a. And if you look before Generation X, there is the Baby boom generation and before that the Silent Generation. All these facts, in turn, generated so many other questions:

Who decides the generations names?

Why do they choose those names?

Why, after the Baby Boom generation, they started with the X instead of the A?

And many others that I can’t remember very well, but I tell you there were many. Anyway, I’m diverting from the topic and the fact is that I don’t think I can pass on how big an impact this revelation has had for me – the revelation that the millennials generation is made up with the people that were born from the mid 80s to the mid 90s.

And why the impact? You may wonder.

Simply because, until now, whenever I heard talking about the people from that generation, it was always in a negative way, with negative connotations, and, from my ignorance, I used to blindly agree with them: millennials are wusses, they have had it too easy, they complain for the sake of it… and I, of course, reaching a more mature age – because the truth is that people who were born between those years, are getting a wee bit old – agreed with those observations thinking they were referring to a later generation, that of my pupils mainly; people who, as I said before, were born after the year 2000. To my view these were the wusses, the ones that needed constant reaffirmation and be guided holding their hands…

But now, as it happens, it turns out that they were talking about me! It turns out that I am the wuss, the one who had it easy and that complained for the sake of it ! Ok, I do complain for the sake of it, sometimes. I already did it before and now that I live amongst Scottish people, whose national sport, apart from drinking, is complaining about stuff, yes, I confess that I’ve turned it up a lot… But beyond that, I’m not so sure it applies to me !

A couple of weeks ago I posted in the blog an entry called Un regalo (a present), which was a poem I’d written about life in crisis and so on. When I showed it to a couple of dear friends for the first time, before publishing it here, they both told me, with a tone that I could not completely take as positive, that it was very millennial. Why!?

Please, somebody take me out of my misery and tell me that not all millennial related stuff is bad!

Anyway, let me tell you that there will be more poems and pieces of writing coming and, apparently, they will all be millennials, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to let myself being categorised within the constraints of a generation (of a label!), just like a big but undervalued Spanish poet from the XX century called Luis Cernuda was said to belong to the generation of 1927, when in actual fact, he went beyond it, he trascended it.

Now I realise that I may have sounded like a big headed person who thinks herself better than other people, or in fact, a whole generation. My intention is only to say this: I’m an individual and, as such, I’m unique (both for good and bad).


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