Recently, I was talking to someone and she mentioned the term Xennials. They are defined as a micro generation born during the cusp years of Gen Xers and Millenials (from say 1977–1985). Xennials experience an analogue childhood and a digital adulthood.
Well I think we are a fortunate generation. We come from a time where we had the floppy, the radio, the idiot box with 10 channels, posters on our bedroom walls, the small corner shops, the parks, the home made cold coffees, birthday parties in your gardens and once in a lifetime loves!
We are also experiencing a time where we have hard drives the size of our palms, the radio in our cars and phones, the TV with gazillion channels, movies on the go, Baristas and Starbucks, home delivery, video games played across continents, birthday parties in posh restaurants, and love lives so fickle that we fall in love more times than we can count, and we never know who is the one.
It’s a hard place to live in. We can’t let go of our past so easily and are stuck in our present with too much work and too little time. It’s literally from the pot into the frying pan. It’s scary to be in your late twenties now. Considering the 30s have become the new 20s. We have started growing up later, learning the good from the bad, usually after we have been through hell of a lot of bad. We lose faith way more easily than we used to. We don’t trust anyone. We let our insecurities get the better of us, most of the time. We build walls, emotionally and physically. We are ‘alive’ on social media, yet we are ‘dead’ on the inside. Life’s tough, lets face it.
I’m sure it was hard for the generation before us and the one even before who actually went through a change in leadership from brown to white to brown. No ones comparing, I’m just talking about us and where we are now.
I started this post with a thought to compare and as I started writing I realised, maybe one shouldn’t compare rather we should cherish. We are fortunate. No other generation will get to live in the duality which we have had the privilege of being a part of. The generation after us may have things easier and the generation before us had abundant struggle, but we have a bit of both. It’s very rarely that you get to be on both sides of the fence in one lifetime, but we do.
Our struggles compared to the previous generation seems minuscule. We struggled between talking on the phone vs. being on the internet, playing an extra hour of basketball vs. walking around the colony with friends, calling someone on the phone vs. actually going to meet them, wondering if you’re going for a holiday this year or the next.
These examples bring a smile to my face, because today’s generation will actually see this as “real” struggle. For them the struggle is what to check first Instagram or WhatsApp, which app to use to find a person to date Tinder or Shaadi.com (apparently people use that as a dating app as well — go figure!), where to go for a holiday — Europe or somewhere local (read: India).
We are privileged. The question is what we choose to do with that privilege? Do we try and retain the good from the past and ensure we learn from it and smooth sail into our future or do we let go of all that happened earlier (Ctrl + Alt + Delete) and embrace the future blindly albeit with wide open arms?
My reality is that I would like to take the best from the past, I don’t mean floppies or diskettes, or even snail mail; I’m happy using hard drives and the Internet. But I think the simplicity of our lives earlier where we had the time to celebrate, to cherish, to be a part of each other’s lives, to worry about the future but not forgetting to live in the present. Times where we weren’t forced to be out of network to realise how peaceful it was in the aftermath, but knowing it’s important to take a break and disconnect every once in a while.
Well that’s what I hope we don’t forget. To remember we got to see two sides of a generational coin. If given a choice I would still celebrate my birthday at home with my mothers’ home made bunt cake, her chaat and pav bhaji and have evenings of swimming followed by cold coffee. I would be more patient with the people I love, be more careful about the people I hurt and be more grateful to those who have given me all that they had so that my future was brighter.
That’s just me, what are u thankful for from your past and what do you want to carry forward? Is it the snail mail, the post card, the walks in the park with friends in the evening or something which strikes a chord personally with you. Whatever it is, I hope I just helped you remember what you had, and think about what you want to take to the future with you!