In less than one year, I went from caring only about myself, to caring about two stepsons, and a two identical twin babies percolating in my soon-to-be wife’s belly. I also have to truly care about my wife too. I’m no longer in a relationship for the sake of loneliness, but for love. I want to give her a good life, the one she deserves, and that means being honest with her, something that has been nearly impossible for me to do in the past. She deserves only the best. Of course, this meant I had to almost immediately stop my damaging, self-indulgent behavior like overspending, overeating, staying up all night, playing incessant video games, netflix binges, and drifting through aimless jobs with no real future. All my creative projects I had sitting on my desktop, in my file folders, and in my miscellaneous moleskin notebooks immediately became dreams I had to make happen before life metastasized into something too complex for me.
I’m a not hipster, but I’m a millennial. I was raised in an ultra-nourishing liberal arts environment where I could do no wrong, where I was always a winner. I was always given an award, a slap on the back for barely trying, and loving words of encouragement for being only mildly lazy. I brought this self-entitled attitude into my adulthood, where I brought the same arrogant youthfulness of a new college student into my late twenties. It was all about me still. I coasted through miscellaneous jobs thinking I needed the perfect one to be happy. I postponed my passion for writing, thinking I was entitled to some fat-check contract from a big traditional publisher. If I had known then what I know now, of course things would be different for me concerning writing, but it doesn’t matter. The point is that I was too selfish to grow, I was stuck in this perpetual, ego-masturbating indulgence.
Fantasy was dominant over reality.
It was hard having this character trait ingrained into you from your generation. I’m a baseline nice person too. I legitimately care about others, even those who have wronged me, and I write with a deep hope for the good of humanity. I want to write stories that isolate monsters, but also show how people beat them, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.
See, I’m doing it again, talking about myself to relate to the world. This is one of the follies of my generation, though I might as well turn it into a strength.
As a Millennial, we’re grounded in a deep love for nostalgia. Old shows, movies, books, have been reinvigorated with the hope of capturing this growing demographic of adults who don’t seem to age. Vintage shirts, re-syndicated Saturday morning cartoons, classic video games, and the return of Reading Rainbow are just a few of this nostalgic obsessions courtesy of the hipster pop-culture that refuses to age. We’re marketed to via memory.
Hipsters and Millennials should have children because they still are children, and they’ll be able to relate to them better. One thing I’ve noticed while helping raise my stepsons is how I can relive my childhood through them. I can relate to their insecurities and fears because some of them still exist, since I was never forced to confront them. There might be negative opinions blossoming up from this essay that if you’re selfish you shouldn’t have children, since they require resources. I feel like the only way we can cure this wave of selfishness and ambivalence towards the world that is so ingrained in the hipster and millennial culture is to simply and barbarically throw more fuel on the fire. Maybe it’ll burn down faster, like a controlled burn of selfishness via having children will be make you finally confront the world.
I didn’t even know I was alive until Geneva and her children came into my life. Having every little action I take reverberate off of someone else in relevance has made me more aware of everything I do, which is good, since I’ve always done everything for myself.