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Thread by @dynamicsymmetry: "Okay, I actually want to talk about this for a second, regarding millennials and how really goddamn difficult it is for us to make sense of […]"

23 tweets, 5 min read, 12,399 views
Okay, I actually want to talk about this for a second, regarding millennials and how really goddamn difficult it is for us to make sense of our own age sometimes.
I haven’t done, like, a Sociology about this, but I strongly suspect that a significant percentage of us are struggling with the fact that many of the benchmarks for different stages of adulthood that we grew up with no longer apply to us, and it’s causing us to feel unmoored.
Adults are supposed to get married. A lot of us aren’t getting married. Adults are supposed to have kids. A lot of us aren’t doing that. Adults are supposed to get past college and get a Real Job. A lot of us aren’t doing that.
Adults are supposed to stop playing with toys, or at least to switch to different toys, like tools and cars and boats. And. Well. Uh.
Add to that the fact that we literally don’t experience time the way we used to. Time is both stretched and collapsed, especially right now. Years feel like months. Weeks feel like years. The past is smashed into the future which folds into the present.
Yeah, THIS. What even *is* a “job” anymore? What the hell is a “career”? How does one get those?

We’re a generation of underpaid and unpaid labor.
Labor and its stability and the identity it gives you is one of the ways we were always supposed to know we were GROWN THE HELL UP. Where is that for us? Some of us have it, but it does not define our adulthood the way it did for our parents.
I was having tea with @phippsdontlie last year and talking about all this stuff I buy and wear, and wondering if there was an age when I wasn’t allowed to have it anymore. Is there an age when I can no longer wear skinny jeans? But I *like* skinny jeans.
And please spare me “YOU’RE ONLY AS OLD AS YOU FEEL” and “WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT”, because my dude, that is useless and entirely beside my point.

My point is that I don’t know what adult means.
I’m looking around for clothes, for *anything* that is a cultural benchmark of what it means to be 40 year old Sunny and 50 year old Sunny and I swear to God I have absolutely nothing, I don’t know what that looks like.
One of the things this means is that a lot of Millennials feel stuck in arrested development, and you see the reinforcement of our infantilization through the thinkpieces about us.
People write about us like we’re still barely in college, when a lot of us are entering our mid and even late thirties. *A lot of us are close to forty goddamn years old.*

You see? The world itself doesn’t know how old we are.
But something else that happens - and I notice this so keenly in myself these days - is a sense of panic, that we’re getting older and running out of time and *we haven’t even grown the fuck up yet*.

Think about that for a second.
We’re not complaining about how we’re getting old, or at least I’m not. That’s not what makes my stomach quivery. It’s the sense that the world is speeding up and speeding up and I’m running out of time and I don’t own a house and I don’t have kids and oh my god what the fuck
We’re not in a mid-life crisis. Millennials are experiencing a *goddamn crisis of temporality*. We don’t know if we’re old. We don’t know if we’re young. We don’t know what we’re doing. We’ve lost our guideposts, our benchmarks, our rubrics for life.

And people blame us for it.
And it really doesn’t help that we’re approaching middle age (WHATEVER THAT EVEN MEANS ANYMORE) in an deeply toxic economic system, with a global future currently very much in doubt, and our parents won’t stop fucking us over.
So the next time you hear a Millennial in their thirties complaining about feeling old, maybe listen to the words behind the words. Because we are living through some shit.

Also our knees and backs hurt and we don’t have health insurance.
Also there’s a very real prospect that many of us won’t be able to afford to retire. We’re not the only generation facing that, or the only generation that’s ever faced that, but you need to understand that we’re facing that in the context of having been lied to.
Oh, and please don’t respond to this with “other people have gone through this too” because

A) I know, I do social-historical academic work
B) Every generation experiences similar trends in different ways and we are experiencing *radical* differences from what our parents did.
I’m not going to go into an even longer Twitter essay about atemporality but please just understand that this is not something about which I am prepared to argue. It’s just true.
Oh, and additional caveat: I’m not even beginning to get into race and class here because this is a twitter thread not an academic paper and I don’t feel equipped right now to give that the attention it deserves; just be aware that I know I’m oversimplifying a lot here.
AND quick denouement: just to make things nice and confusing for me personally I’m 34 and this is my hair and no it is not dyed 😃
I don’t have a SoundCloud or anything but if you want to give me money you can toss my poor entitled Millennial ass a buck or two here

ko-fi.com/dynamicsymmetry
paypal.me/hotrockpile
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