I feel like I don’t belong anywhere.
I am just young enough to miss out on the label of angsty Gen Xer, yet I am too old to be a cool Hipster Millennial.
I am a puzzle piece in life’s timeline that doesn’t fit.
What am I?
They say I might be a Xennial. What, someone not “in the know” like myself might wonder, is a Xennial. The birth years are up for debate, but it is a term they threw at us poor folk who don’t fit the mold, who fall in the middle of two distinct generations. It is said that Xennials were born between about 1977 and 1983. Let me tell ya, however. I was born in 1975, and I still identify with this so-called Xennial generation. I feel like I’m stuck as this in-between outsider whom people feel sorry for. I can almost feel society patting me pathetically on the back whilst saying, “You poor thing.”
To combat this awkward, out-of-place generation, society slapped the random, weird title of “Xennial” on us to help us feel like we have a place to fit.
Well, let me tell ya, we feel left out!
When I think of Gen Xers, I think of great music, strong feelings of discontent from mainstream thinking, and the generation that really started looking out for planet earth. Yes, they were known as slackers, but I believe many of them have grown into people of strong intellect who are not afraid to voice their beliefs, and they try to make the world a better place.
Hipster Millennials. They are everywhere. It seems they have taken over the world with their intellect for all things computer, art, creativity, natural, and a lot of strong self-motivation. They understand trends, and are quick to capitalize on them. Many of them are entrepreneurs, and have no fear of failure. They understand this whole age of computers, and can wield this knowledge to move leaps and bounds past the rest of us.
They don’t have the stigma that they feel they are entitled to all things, like the so-called Selfie Generation. They are known to work hard, create hard, and play hard. Things seem to come easy for this generation, but they have truly worked hard for their place in society.
The Gen Xers are established in their careers. Many of them are set. The Hipsters, God bless ‘em, are in a whole other realm of the career game. They have taken over the world!
Then there are us awkward Xennials. We either haven’t yet found where we fit in career wise, or many of us are trapped in this frenzy of getting laid off left and right as the job climate is changing. We are stuck in this murky purgatory space of having hard-earned skills that are now obsolete because of computers, but not having the computer savvy, media know-how, or cool aesthetic to get the newer jobs.
Just learn the media game, you might say. Ha!
We try our hardest to keep up with technology, but it is moving at lightning speeds while we trod along, barely keeping our heads above water. We might get to a point where we just feel like we have things figured out. “I FINALLY HAVE AN AWESOME FACEBOOK PRESENCE,” we might say. Then all of a sudden – BOOM!! Facebook is not the cool platform it once was. There is now Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and God help me, platforms I don’t even know exist. Even if I were to try to get a handle on these platforms, they would be obsolete tomorrow. For the love, my seven year old and eleven year old can pick up any digital device on any platform, and automatically have the know-how to work the thing. I feel antiquated and rusty. I feel like there is no way to keep up.
Let’s talk about these kids for a minute. Many Xennials waited until late in life to have children. The Gen Xers sometimes have no patience for the young. Many of them are already grandparents. Millennials, on the other hand, have either had children early, or they have decided to forego the way of children. So us in-between Xennial parents feel a bit isolated.
I feel very out of place when it comes to activities related to children. I am the oldest parent in either of my children’s classes at school. I am the oldest parent to take my child to classes at church. I am the oldest parent taking my son to Boy Scouts or my daughter to one of her many activities. The young parents all click together, and, once again, I’m an awkward outsider.
Now, I understand part of this feeling of being an outsider stems from the fact that I am also a crippling introvert, but a lot of this keeping to myself stems from the fact that I feel I don’t fit in anywhere. I’m a chubby 3-inch square trying to fit in the keyhole made by a sleek 1-inch diamond.
So, do I throw in the towel and just give up?
No. I move on, constantly feeling like I get three steps forward and two steps back. I may be a Xennial, but I’m not letting life get the better of me!