If I had a dollar for every article I’ve read about how the business world is readying itself for the millennial workforce, I might not be insanely rich, but I could at least take pretty swank trip to Spain with my loot. I know this because I’ve written a bunch of those articles, and dozens of others for research. And each time I do, I think, “Wow. Would have been pretty cool if the world cared so much about this 10 years ago, when this millennial was entering the workforce.”
Ah. The woes of a millennial elder. Though the dates bookending my generation vary, the most common – and accurate, in my experience – call 1982 the dawn of the millennials. This means I am seven days away from being as old as millennial gets.
Now, of course the lines are blurry. I know people up to a year older than myself who definitely fit into my generation, and those a year or so younger who are startlingly Gen X-ish. But, by and large, if there a way to define a millennial elder, someone born in January, 1982 is about a close as it gets.
Here in Michigan, with the exception of a handful of cities, you can be evicted from your home for being gay. You may also be fired for the same reason. I find that unacceptable. It’s actually unacceptable for everyone else in the state too, no matter what their political or personal beliefs are, because it’s turning the same people away from living here that we are investing so much time in money to attract.
The distance between 19 and 29 is always a revelatory one, but for me it has been a decade defined by the slow and steady realization of exactly what happened to us that day. Today, I feel most touched by 9/11 when I see politicians saying their goal is to defeat each other instead of promising to make changes for good. I see it in angry Facebook posts and scathing blogs. I see it in recall campaigns and fear-mongering around dinner tables. I see the anger everywhere, and it’s exhausting. I’m deeply disheartened by the negativity all around me. I’m more than disheartened; I’m disappointed.