David’s eyes were strained by the end of each day from the copious amounts of rolling they did. He couldn’t help it. The place he had once called home had became somewhat of a war zone. Tension hung thick in the air and he could taste the disappointment his mother left lingering, the taste, however, wasn’t a bad one as she sugarcoated each new day with fake smiles and pleasant chatter. Yet each morning he planned out his defence strategies as the battle of generations continued. Millennials Vs. Generation X.
They didn’t understand. Yes, he was a 26 year old and living at home, but those jobs that they are constantly talking about… easier said than done, Mom and dad. Back then they had grown up in a world where adulthood was rewarded to those who graduated high school, moved away from home, and found a full-time job that ultimately secured financial independence. And all this by their mid-20s. Davids father graduated and landed himself a union-based manufacturing job that would pay wages sufficient enough to support him and his high school sweetheart, Davids mother. As an employee he received free training, and health benefits, plus a retirement package that allowed him to retire early and still have economic security. That’s all well and good. He had the white picket fence and the family that BBQ’d in the backyard… but he hated his job. He spent 8 hours a day doing something he disliked. David wasn’t about to waste the majority of his life. He had a dream. Plus, those jobs nowadays were either automated or outsourced to different countries where workers would do the same job for one-tenth the original satisfactory wages. Any manufacturing jobs David would even consider looking at now paid 25% less with limited health benefits and training. It just wasn’t the same as it used to be. Today, having just a high school diploma wasn’t sufficient enough, therefore Millennials are ranked the most well-educated generation in American history and yet after college it’s said to take nearly twice as long for each individual to find that first entry job into the field of their study. An aftershock of the Great Recession. The fundamental makeup of the job market. Hiring expectations were increased. David had the credentials, but as thousands of people applied for the same job he drowned in a career system that no longer worked. The pathways from education to work had been derailed to low-wage part-time work with social inequalities and dwindling economics.
Numerous times he tried to explain himself, explain what the world is now, but they didn’t listen. They pegged him as lazy. As a freeloader. Wort of all, as a disappointment. It was hard enough out there and they made it hard for him in here. It catapulted him into a state of depression. No one believed in him. Not like when he was a child. Everyone believes in children. So impressionable. So much potential, and yet here he was and all those people that told him he could do anything had given up on him. He had to believe in himself, and even that started chipping away. Sometimes he faked the confidence. He had to, or he’d crumble right before them, giving them the upper hand. The chance to be right. So he turned to social media for recognition, for advice, for attention.
All David knew for now was he didn’t want to be like his parents. Not that being family orientated was a bad thing, he just wanted to do more before he decided to settle down. That’s the thing about Millennials. Most experience a desperate need of wanderlust, they have dreams and are confident in fulfilling them in one way or another. They are conscious and collaborative. Educated, and as a result idealistic, knowing at any state the world is in, it can be made a better place. A perfect place, as they are tolerant and open-minded. Passionate and tech-savvy.
David arrived home to his mother cooking in the kitchen. He didn’t talk much these days and knew she probably wondered what he did all day. She didn’t know he freelanced. That wasn’t really known to them. Freelancing. He worked as a part-time Marketing Specialist. That’s the field he wanted to get into. It was slow going, but it kept him hoping.
He felt a continuous guilt. Anytime he wanted to relax he knew she thought he didn’t deserve to. He felt lazy, even though he knew he wasn’t. Still he sat on the couch with a beer in hand, jumping suddenly as he heard another one of his mother tantrums manifest. Rolling his eyes yet again preparing for battle.
-written by Actress In Reality