Saturday, April 6, 2013

What Is The Matter With Us Young People?

I'm fresh into this life game. Admittedly, I'm not brand new, but for perspectives sake I'd just like to make it known people still call me "Sweet Baby." In my eyes, I'm seven years from being thirty (!!!!!) while in their eyes, I'm just the youngin', the shorty, or the little sister.

So why is it that when I look around at my peers, we're starting families, we're moving in together and getting engaged?

I was thinking this over as I was talking to a coworker with an adorable Southern accent which I admire (admittedly, I have a Southern accent but her voice and her accent together is something stupendous) and she said that she and her fiance' were excited about the next phase of their lives. The last time I sat down and talked to her, they were simply dating and living together and now, she beamed a big, prideful smile and showed me her elegant, beautiful ring. When did this happen? Why is this happening?

Another coworker of mine just had her third child (all with the same man, mind you) and they're now engaged. Another is not engaged, but pregnant by a man she lives with, and yet another is proposing to his girlfriend this very weekend. None of us are over the age of twenty-five.

It took me back to my Sins of Our Fathers post and thinking on the ramifications of our parents actions as we ourselves reach adulthood. At this age my mother and father were married, had me and were living on an army base. At this age, so many of my co-workers and associates, friends and family members parents were either becoming or on their way to being parents. So are we doomed to repeat their pattern, becoming young parents before we know better, or do we actually know better?

A lot of us come from broken homes with one parent living away from home, divorced parents, widowed parents, and blended families that never fully blended. In watching our parents struggle to continue to love each other and the lives that they'd dealt themselves, had we learned that what they did was on the wrong side of right?

For instance, I plan to move in with my boyfriend sometime this year. No children. No engagement rings. No wedding bells. I want to see what he's like before I decide to make a family or a life with this him. Moreover, before he comes, I want to experience some independence, so I plan to have my own place in one or two months, start paying bills that I create, and learning how to be okay with what I've got. My mother never had that; she fell in love with Dad, she got pregnant, after living together two years, they got married. She never had time to decide if my father was "it" for her; the decision was made by an earlier decision she'd made to keep me and to stay with him. Had our parents known or seen what we now know, would things have been different? Would some of us be here? Would our families still be together?

Maybe that's what the matter with us is. Maybe we've had to mature so much faster, because our parents had to mature that must faster. Maybe we're now realizing at this age, what took our parents to learn at age thirty. Maybe we're trying to create the ideal families we never got to have, with people who understand where and what we come from and have an ambition, a drive, to do that much better.

Maybe there's nothing wrong with us at all. A lot of people from older generations like to lump us all into this pants-sagging, Waka Flocka admiring, good-for-nothing kids, but they fail to realizing that just like they had those same types when they were young (that they didn't necessarily fall in with) we have those same types. A lot of us are hard workers, in school, at our jobs. A lot of us are doing the right thing by not ourselves, but these budding families we're creating. We're doing the best we can with what we've been handing which, given the indiscernible 'gift' we've been given, is pretty damn good.

There's nothing the matter with us, I've decided. We're trying. We're striving. We're making connections and feeling free to be untraditional in the way we show our love, make our families, and even create our lives. We're learning; you were given the chance to, and now it's our turn.

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