Monday, October 5, 2009

My generation

It has been a year (plus a few days) since my journey began.
I have gone through so many resolutions, changes of heart, revelations, frustrations and more resolutions. And where am I now? I still hate that question: what are you going to do with your life? But I can no longer blow it off. What am I going to do? Well? What am I doing right now?

Reminiscing. Reflecting. A year feels like a lifetime, and in this life I am a different person than the one who was taking her first excited steps into the muddy forests of a far-off land. What am I going to do with my life? Which life?

I feel like no one in my generation likes that question. We resent it--because we were supposed to get directions somewhere along the way--weren't we? I feel like in our future, in whatever lifetime down the road that will be, (My 10th reincarnation?) I will try to describe my generation the way people try to describe Generation X or the boomer gen:

We are confused. Betrayed. Distrustful--of everything: our politics our upbringing our culture (what culture?) and ourselves. Maybe we were on the conservative swing back from the previous liberal swing of our parent's generation (that's what "they" say happens, right?). So we are on the conservative swing--but we are so betrayed by our leaders that our swing is knocked off course. Betrayal enough to rock an entire culture--and what's worse is that they try to win us back, not by building trust but by building fear. And so where are we? Knocked onto a course to Where. Unsure of where to look--what's real? what's safe? This insecurity has shaken us at every level--national to personal--who are our leaders? friends or foes? who are we trying to impress anymore? and why should we care?

To go back to the liberal movement of generations past would be, well, going back-- and we were raised to move on, move up, go big or go home (this whole "bigger is better" culture is a whole other can of worms). Besides, we must learn from the mistakes of the past as we work to move forward (and maybe make up for some lost ground). But we won't jump off the deep end. We won't say "fuck the man" and abandon societal norms/structure/way of life that we know, until we know that there is something else. To avoid digressing into a stony-utopia that eventually crashes out into the reality of needing infrastructure--even though we just want to take many of those same old stories and make them our own: civil rights, environmental movements, social change--but this time, make them work in a way that's real to us.

So we continue to lead our lives, looking bashfully around for a clue. Sitting on our balconies, looking out onto the street and talkingdreamingwondering about a better idea. An idea that won't take us "back" but will get us off of the road that we've been headed down in this lifetime, and onto a road that we could spend a new lifetime exploring. And we do our small part in our small bubble to take a half step towards it. Where are we going? What will we all do with our lives?

I had previously promised to become a better "Citizen of the World". So I still do all those good things that may also look good on paper (or electronic application). But mostly, I think my progress has been internal. Somehow I feel more connected to My Generation. Just by being open, more open than I've ever been in my life (thank you, Costa Rica) to everything and everyone--especially myself--I think I am seeing how we are all connected in this trajectory to Where. Maybe when we all realize that, we won't all be so scared.