Yesterday I wrote about being scared to commit. Today I have been pondering these thoughts. I did a funny test from the Guardian about how millennial I am. Turns out I have some characteristics, but I am not that much of a meme and emoji fan, so I am not a complete crazy and lost millennial. But in one thing, I am definitely a typical millennial: commitment. That remains an issue. Not that I don’t commit at all. Because I once I say ‘yes’ to a project or meet a friend that I would like to get to know, I am all in. But those big things in life, like allowing myself to really fall for someone or commit to a long-term job perspective. Is something wrong or is it only typical millennial behaviour?
On day 117 I wrote about missing people and having too many friends. I got quite a few responses from people around the world and that they recognized what I wrote about. They felt exactly the same sometimes and my thoughts on paper (a.k.a. screen) gave some breathing space. That is the best compliment I can get. If my little pieces of writing give you a moment of understanding in silence. That’s why I publish these thoughts. The response to that post made me think that missing people is okay and that it is also a beautiful expression of the capacity of loving.
But then what is it about commitment that I don’t want to understand or that I sometimes keep far away from me? I think part of it can be explained by being the first group of twenty-something year old people that get married significantly later. I discussed this a while back with a friend. She said that we, especially as women, sort of have to find out what to do with this ‘extra’ single time in our lives. Nothing is set in stone yet. 10, 20 years ago, the generation of our mothers, went through a different process. Still I have quite a few weddings this year, but there are just as much single people around me.
Then the job thing. Apparently millennials are extremely irritating to the old baby-boomers CEO’s. The typical white, male, 50+ leader of an organisation of business doesn’t understand why these young weird people don’t want to stay in a company for more than three years. Apparently we are also moving a lot. Finding new places, new people and new opportunities is something that is typical for millennials.
One of the articles I read ends on a very positive note though. It says that even though millennials don’t want to commit right now, they do see the value of commitment. And eventually also millennials will settle down and commit. We will be tamed. We will establish ties, because also we are all, millennial or not, so very unique.
“I am looking for friends. What does that mean — tame?”
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”
“To establish ties?”
“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,