As millennials, it seems that the whole lot of us are stereotyped. We’re a lazy, entitled bunch that refuses to grow up and has no idea how to handle the adult world. We’ve all heard this in the media, and my empty wallet will bet that you have too. Of course, none of these claims are universally true however much some people may like to argue it. The real world is far more complicated than a series of whines about “kids these days.” Go through any decade in all of history and you will find lazy, entitled individuals. The truth is, we millennials live in a different world full of different struggles and we handle it differently than any other generation before us. And you know what? I have a little secret about how previous generations were so much more adept at adulting than we are today.
Early one morning as my husband and I prepared for work, I laughed about how, at 29, it still feels like we are playing house at times. I mean, I have no idea how we got here: married, homeowners, full time employed. But we did. I asked him his thoughts and he told me that, in reality, he is just winging it day in and day out. This floored me, but then I got to thinking: You know what? I am winging it too. So are my coworkers. So were my parents, and my grandparents. I mean, especially my grandparents! They were born in the Great Depression; everyday life was a frightening adventure back then.
It’s true, I guarantee it. Think about all the day-to-day things that can (and often do) go wrong in a plan. While it is always a good idea to plan, hurricanes happen, illness happens, job loss happens, and a whole slough of other things that we have absolutely no control over can occur at any time. No one planned for the Great Depression, but they adapted through the struggles. No one planned for the housing bubble to burst (except maybe some greedy bankers), but humanity is still here. No one plans for a death in the family or a job loss or lightening to strike through the roof. Don’t worry about the what ifs – they’ll kill you if you let them.
Stuff happens, man, and we’re all in this together. We can sit around and mope about it and degrade our fellow human beings, or we can surround ourselves with the real good kind of love that says: we can do this. Let’s try. Let’s wing it.
So maybe next time someone tells you to get your life together, even if that person is you (especially if it is you), tell yourself that you’re winging it.
Just like everybody else.