we are who we are

life

Y'know, I have to say, I don't really call myself a Ke$ha fan.  And if you don't know who she is already, don't worry.  You won't like it.

I find her a bit juvenile, trashy, and annoying.  

Must she look wasted all the time?

Except this one really stuck with me.  

Though I think it goes something more like 'We R Who We R'  

Or some other such ridiculousness.

ANYWAY…

I like this one.  Listen to it here.  You can read along with the lyrics.  Which usually helps me.  Because, apparently, I'm getting old. 

THE POINT IS…

I'm right on the cusp of generations.  They say that the year ranges can flex 5 years either way.  So technically I'm a millennial.  But I feel more like Gen X. They say it has something to do with your parents.  Hmm.

Gen X is typically defined by having a plan. And then a back up plan.  And then a contingency plan.  They want you to prove yourself before they listen to you.  What are your credentials?  Why should I pay any attention to you?

The millennial generation has yet to be defined.  Why?  Because they're all still CHILDREN.  Which means they have yet to define themselves.  

We know that every generation is set apart from the one before it.  There is always something that defines them as a whole.  And then we talk about them that way.  The baby boomers.  Gen X.  The Millennials.   They are a group.  A gaggle.  A pod.  A herd.

And what does this have to do with anything?

There is a whole generation of young people out there who just want to be themselves.  Success for them is not the same success as their parents.  Our futures are vastly different than the generations before us. They are out to find their own way.  And yes, it's good to know and respect the past and the way that was travelled before us.  I agree, very important.

But can I be me while I'm at it?  

HERE COMES THE PARENT STUFF…

I was taught to have respect.  Be appropriate.  Work hard.  Play nice.  Don't hold a grudge. Be active.  Eat well.  Save your money.  Give thoughtfully.  Receive graciously. Don't leave the door open with the swamp cooler on.  Don't stand in front of the fridge with the door open.  Go through the garage, not the sliding glass door.  Keep a box of trash bags under the front seat. Don't run in church.  No fibbing.  Tell the truth but be tactful.  Go to the bathroom before you leave the house.  And that it's ok to stop for the bathroom on the way.

Because let's be honest. IT IS OK.

While each generation defines itself differently, each young person in the generation is looking to be seen for who they are individually.  Not just how they contribute to the group as a whole.  

With so much bullying and gender confusion and curiosity out there, it's a wonder that young people make it out alive, let alone be functional and well adjusted without family issues.

I never thought hair color was an argument worth having.  It's hair. Big deal if it's purple.  As long as the grades are good, what's the big deal?  Let's argue about tattoos instead.  And piercings.  And delinquency.  And cheating.  And dishonesty.

And while I wasn't allowed to dye my hair the color I wanted, I was permitted to express myself in other ways.  And in the spirit of being truthful, I was a tame kid.  (It's a good thing I didn't have then the attitude I have now.  Life would have turned out a bit more angry.)  So it's not like I was out trying to paint murals on buildings illegally.  But I did my share of rebellion.  Why?

Because I wanted to be me.  I wanted to express myself in a way that was true to me.  Because while all the time I'm concerned with what is appropriate and what will happen if I do something inappropriate, I was looking for a way to let the crazy out.

Isn't that the problem?  Society is afraid of a little crazy.  We're not talking about i'm-gonna-kill you-crazy.  It's the i'm-emotional-and-feeling-cramped-up-inside-crazy.  It's about the stuff inside that needs to come out but there is no outlet.  Because I'm appropriately buttoned up all the time.

Isn't that the fascination with Lady Gaga?  She has carved a path so uniquely her.  Isn't that what we all want?  To be seen for us?  Our whole picture, not just what we contribute to the whole of society.

We'll be young forever.

We are who we are.

So just let me be me.

And let them be them.  Whatever that means.

 

M

 

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