Fuck You Old People, I’m Going to Live Forever!
I didn’t come up with that line. I guess Aubrey Plaza did. Or she stole it too. Either way, makes for a compelling blog post title.
Well, I think it’s about high time I needlessly defend my generation and shit on old people for shitting on us. I say needlessly because 1) We’re awesome, duh, I shouldn’t have to defend us and 2) as much as I assume most people don’t give a shit about “trend pieces” aimed at criticizing and then “advising” younger generations – I furthermore assume that people give less of a shit about “response pieces” hidden on the unknown blogs of my defiant generation. Seriously though, FUCK YOU OLD PEOPLE.
So here’s THIS SHIT aka Huff Post’s latest in getting people all worked up and talking about what’s so wrong with young people these days aka “Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy”.
First of all, I am definitely 100% the girl described in that article, as is, apparently, everyone else my age, since they keep posting it and being all like, “awww… yeah… this is me… I guess I am sort of idealistic… aww… I am always comparing myself to people… oh well, I guess I should try to be more ‘realistic’.”
However, fuck being realistic. I’d rather work at Urban Outfitters for the rest of my life while I chase my stupid lawn with the flowers and the unicorn than settle for some stupid lawn that just has grass. Why? Not because I feel entitled to it, although *ahem* I do work a lot fucking harder than anyone seems to realize. I know that unicorns are elusive and rare, so I also don’t necessarily expect it… anytime soon… But the moment I settle for a plot of regular grass that’s exactly what I’m going to get. And maybe one day I will get my flowers. And even if I don’t get flowers I feel like there’s some integrity in not giving up. So that’s right, while everyone else has “given up” and “gotten realistic” and settled for plots of regular grass by getting 9-5 jobs as managers at companies I WILL BE LIVING IN MY DIRT WITH INTEGRITY.
So to these people who say we have unreasonable expectations, I’d like to say, fuck you assholes! It’s too late! My expectations are what they are. Also, geez, this article only slightly addresses it, but then ends up quickly shitting on kids anyway. WHO THE FUCK GAVE US THESE “unreasonable” expectations? Did they come out of a vacuum? Did young people just magically all get together one day on the playground and say, “Hey, you know what, let’s all grow up to be entitled assholes to piss off our parents and grandparents!” Though I often feel we are characterized this way, it seems pretty convenient to forget WHY we are all chasing delusional pipe dreams. YOU FUCKING PEOPLE TOLD US TO. YOU told us we were special and could be anything we wanted to be if we set our minds to it.
So here’s a functional list of bullet points to finish this rant off.
#1. I am kind of unhappy, but at the same time I am also probably happier than you, so fuck you: I suppose one way of looking at this article is to argue that it was meant to be helpful to people like me – people who went to expensive Liberal Arts Colleges with a bag of delusional pipe dreams and then went off in the workforce only to realize that this is hard and frustrating. So on some level, it’s just right. Part of my unhappiness stems from wanting achievements that feel out of my reach. Part of my unhappiness is because my expectations of what I feel I deserve do not match up with what I have.
However, I find a certain comfort in the discomfort, personally. I have in many ways had a very fascinating and interesting life. I’ve met a lot of amazing people. I’ve had unique experiences that I could have only had if I had the unrealistic expectations for what I can accomplish that I have. I wouldn’t trade anything I’ve experienced or done or had or anything up to this point for the world. I would never trade in the frustration and disappointment for something more stable because nothing else is as fulfilling as the experience of trying to be who you are authentically and realize your dreams. Sorry if that’s fucking corny, but also, NOT SORRY.
I just think it’s okay to be crazy and a little unhappy, and although I do say this as a crazy and slightly unhappy person, I also just think it’s par for the course. Where was this person in their 20s? Were they totally happy? I doubt it. Happiness is an elusive thing in general and the more and more I chase my dreams and the more and more disappointment and frustration I face, in a weird way, the more I learn what happiness is for me.
First of all, one of the nice things about being so unhappy and disappointed and frustrated is that it forces you at an early age to “get real” and discover what happiness really is. And happiness isn’t even a regular lawn, let me tell you. Happiness does come from within. Happiness is your self-perception, it’s not what you have, and you can be happy with anything, even dirt. Happiness is being with good friends you love. Happiness is having a supportive family who loves you and let’s you pursue delusional pipe dreams. Happiness is sometimes looking outside and seeing a plastic bag rustle in the wind and being like “Oh yeah, I remember that scene in American Beauty. Why was he so into that plastic bag again?” Happiness can also be believing in a dream.
For me, happiness is partly the belief that one day, somewhere out there for me, is a lawn with flowers and a unicorn, and even fuck, a rainbow maybe. I know that might never happen, but it’s kind of like Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t really want Carey Mulligan, it was merely the chase for Carey Mulligan that gave him fulfillment. It was the promise of a better tomorrow. Sure, I guess it can be a little agonizing, but worse still is the knowing disappointment of settling for smaller dreams just because other people told you that you should. Also before he gets shot at the end he has a really nice house and fun parties.
The author of this article shits on our dreams with the “unicorn” example, because clearly the unicorn is meant to symbolize something impossible, something stupid, something that even though we feel “entitled” to, will ultimately lead to our downfall because it’s not based in “reality”.
To that still I say, fuck reality. I’ve seen reality and reality kind of bites (pun intended). The world isn’t great (see point #4) and the thing that gives me hope is the magic I think exists in the world. ie. Unicorns. ie. the fact that we have a whole wide Internet out there to explore. New systems can be created – if we think outside of the box we can make pretty much anything. We could fly to the moon again guys, except it’d probably even be easier next time, and then we could colonize it and create a new governmental system where everyone is a celebrity and all the lawns have fucking genetically engineered horses with horns on them.
#2. I am delusional, and it’s my favorite thing about me, so fuck you: I am extremely delusional and I’ll be the first to admit it. I am so delusional I won’t even admit to you half of the shit I’ve believed is possible. The thing about delusion though is that with a healthy side-portion of pepto bismol to help it go down – it’s not all that bad. Delusion is a two-sided coin and on the other side of it is pragmatism, and both can be the source of someone’s success or downfall in equal measure.
For example, when I was 14 I figured out what an NBC Page was and decided I wanted to be one. Anyone then could have told me I was delusional. Apparently getting into the NBC Page program is “harder than getting into Harvard” according to their website. However, much like Harvard, all you have to do to get in is know someone who wants you to get in. If I had been “pragmatic” about it, I might have assumed that the odds were just simply not in my favor, especially since as a 14 year old I definitely DID NOT know ANYONE who would want me to get into the NBC Page Program. However, thanks to a healthy sampling of delusion I decided that anything was possible, and so I went after that dream. Along the way there was a lot of disappointment and frustration and set backs, but I never thought to be “practical” and settle for a patch of lawn that did not have that NBC Unicorn on it. So I got in, and I did that.
Delusion is okay. When you are delusional like me it’s important to remember that the outcomes are just the icing on the cake, that it’s the pursuit of those outcomes that matter most. Pragmatism and realism and all those anti-delusional things are sometimes just as dangerous, because they can hold us back. Those things tell us that some things aren’t possible and so then we don’t even try, and then how do we know? It’s okay to try and fail.
I’d even go so far as to argue that again, because things are changing so much, our unwavering idealism and our stupid delusional pipe dreams are our strength. With those tenants of insufferable entitlement maybe we can create anything, new things, better things, and maybe that’s what the world needs right now. (See point #4)
#3. I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE, SO FUCK YOU: Seriously though, I just called my grandma last night and she REAFFIRMED that I AM SPECIAL and so fuck you bastards. I am special. I am not inexperienced. I’m experienced. I have worked hard for a really long time. I HAVE A SHIT TON TO OFFER. Did you fuckers forget we were also raised on Mr. Rogers??? And are you trying to tell me Mr. Rogers is wrong? Because listen dickfaces, he told us kids my age and younger are special. And you know why?! JUST FOR BEING US! JUST FOR BEING THE WAY WE ARE! It’s like we’re just inherently special.
And listen, yeah, maybe you’ve noticed some of us are “unhappy” so TRY A LITTLE FUCKING KINDNESS BITCH! Stop trying to stick your Negative Nancy bullshit up our asses and telling us that on top of our strife, we’re also losers with a long way to go, and start seeing our perceived “flaws” for what they are. Opportunities to break out of the stupid boxes we’re being put into and think… outside of them.
This article advises us to stay ambitious but then tells us not to be special, and sorry (but still not sorry), but I just think part of ambition is the belief that you are special. There is of course a difference between arrogance and confidence, but confidence is still knowing you’re special. In fact, I’d argue that arrogance and entitlement comes from NOT knowing you’re special, because it arises from a type of insecurity that is trying to mask itself with a sense of false bravado. True confidence, true faith in yourself, true ambition lies in the unwavering belief that you are special and talented and have something to offer and so that’s why you keep trying. That’s why you keep trying to get better. Sure, adding a little humility into the mix is a healthy thing, no one really likes a braggart, but that isn’t mutually exclusive or anything. We’re allowed to be special and humble and frustrated and ambitious and disappointed and optimistic and hopeful all at the same time.
STOP TELLING US WHO TO BE OLD PEOPLE.
#4. Oh yeah, pretty convenient of you to leave out one kind of little important detail which is like, WHO FUCKED UP THE ECONOMY AND THE WORLD AGAIN!? OH WAIT, SORRY WE’RE TOO YOUNG TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SHIT WE’RE DEALING WITH? Oh, oh, oh, that’s right, old people bought too many fucking yachts in the 90s and then wasted all our money on a bunch of stupid shit so they kind of fucked it up for everyone, especially their children, and they can’t find it in themselves to admit they made a lot of mistakes and now resent young people for having dreams even though old people have essentially tried to crush our dreams in an effort to not own up to the fact that it’s their fault it’s even harder than it ever was to follow dreams!?: Again, just out of pure spite, I’m not giving in to this bullshit. I don’t think it was really meant to be helpful. Old people have a tradition of shitting on young people. It’s not really unique to my generation, because these kind of controversial exposes on why 20-something people suck always come out when there’s a new batch of 20-somethings. I just fucking hate it man. It’s not helpful. It’s not enlightening. It just adds to the existing anxiety and frustration people are already feeling. On some level, our situation as a generation and as a country is what it is. What does this person know about what it means to strive for a dream? That’s just such a different topic altogether. And honestly, I refuse to take this person’s advice, no matter how “reasonable” or “on point” it might be, because clearly this person knows nothing about following your heart and believing in yourself. Unless his or her dream was to grow up to be a grumpy-ass old person who shits on the idealism of young people in flashy trend pieces on the Huffington Post, in which case, no wonder this person is projecting their own disappointment and frustration onto people like me – they gave up on their dreams and now all they have to show for it is the bitterness and self-righteousness of someone who thinks they know what’s so wrong with everyone else. Just out of spite, I will never give up on my lawn with the unicorn and the flowers even if it means that I end up working at Urban Outfitters for the rest of my life until I die trying.