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MESSAGE TO AGING MILLENNIALS: STAND TOGETHER

aging millennials

Eventually you figure out where you stand.

How does that work? Look around.

You’re not standing alone. Even when if feels like no one notices, they do.

What they notice is context, where you are, and the nearest identifier.

The biggest thing is if they decide to join you.

You might call it selfish to stand alone, or together, but it’s not.

Instead, it’s part of what makes us who we are, who you are.

Falling into the fallacy hole of believing who you are based on the opinion of others?

It happens, but it won’t last.

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me

The fear of growing old, being forgotten, even forgetting who you used to be, hovers over everyone.

Feeling like you’re born and die in a lonely bubble?

Break that bubble. Be someone who knows what it means to stand by someone and then check your surroundings.

Like a magnet in a bag of metal filings, the laws of attraction kick in.

The hard part is you doing the kicking. Aging millennials need to kick to freedom.

It starts with breaking the habits of isolation.

Now this isn’t a rag to drop the video game controller, put down the smart phone, or walk away from your laptop.

Think of it as a cheering section to step outside your comfort zone.

Join the community, any community, and find a good fit.

Make it more than one. Like shopping for shoes, the fit is important.

Aging millennials on parade

aging millennials

Even if your friends, if you have friends while you read this, wouldn’t waste their time doing it, step out to a civic event.

“Oh, it’s not cool,” they say.

Fine, then let them stay in their bubble. You’ve heard the saying ‘Everyone loves a parade?’

It’s true. Blame it on variety. Stand and watch a parade and eventually something will get you.

A horse and rodeo queen, a marching band, or the mayor of your town.

Politicians, at least good ones, know the value of pressing the flesh.

Go shake his hand. Make contact. It doesn’t turn you into a showboat, or put you on stage.

Walking out there might feel odd to you, but not to them. It’s part of their job to be friendly.

Part of your job is helping them. Millennials love interaction, so start interacting. Be strong.

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me

Memories help aging millennials

aging millennials

Mr. Bill Shonely is the Mayor of Rip City.

If you have a chance to shake his hand, don’t fade away.

Say hello and you’ve made contact with the true voice of the Portland Trail Blazers.

This is a man who stood his ground, who stands his ground. Look him up and learn his lesson.

In what feels like a question of big fish in a little pond, or little fish in a big pond, he found his place and made it his own.

After all, isn’t that the goal for all of us in a celebration of life? It is if you’re living today.

Anne Lamott, a TED TALK for aging millennials

Why you should listen

Anne Lamott hooks into our common experience and guides us to an understanding infused with openness. An activist, former alcoholic and Sunday School teacher, Lamott uses humor to weave through loss, parenthood, faith and the cancer diagnosis given to her best friend, in beloved books like Bird by Bird and Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. She says, “Hope begins in the dark … if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”

I heard a section of this on facebook. It was a treat, but just a sample of the whole pie.

Lamott and I are the same age. You’d think we might have things in common, and we do.

She talks about our ‘toxic help’, how it’s wrong to run beside our adult children with sun screen and chapstick. And she’s probably right.

From here, though, it’s still unusual to think of kids as adults when we still have baby pictures that look so new.

My hope for aging millennials is they don’t follow the baby boomer pattern of alienating parents in the cause of independence.

Do you remember the heavy thinker who said you need to kill your parents, metaphorically if I remember, not like the Menendez brothers, to live?

Memo to aging millennials: Don’t do either one.

Live together in harmony and joy, instead of sorrow and remorse. Why waste more time reviewing what went wrong and who did what to who?

Learn from the past and don’t repeat the same mistakes too often.

And don’t blame your parents if they laugh at goofy selfies where your mom looks like a growth on your dad’s shoulder.

aging millennials

About David Gillaspie
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