One thing is undoubtedly true about the way Millennials see the world: we HATE being stagnant. We are not the kind who will stay at the same corporate job for 30 years then retire. We are not the type to stay in the same geographical location for long periods of time. We are not the type to get locked into a routine and practice it for decades in a row. We like fluidity in our living situations. We seek adventure. We enjoy the thrill. We like to shake things up. So why does the word “change” seem so intimidating??
I had to learn to embrace this Millennial mindset, as I was never one who enjoyed any kind of uprooting. As a child, I had a routine that I followed very strictly (by choice). I made a habit of only being in places that I considered my comfort zones. This by no means meant that I was an introvert as a kid – in fact, I have always been quite the opposite – but I was insistent on only coming out of my shell in places where I knew it was safe to hatch. Simply put: I liked consistency, I liked knowing what to expect, and I hated anything that got in the way of living in my world the way that I knew it. Eventually, I grew up and instead of being around the same people I had been moving along the river of life with until the 8th Grade, I went off to a private high school – where I knew about as many people as I have fingers on one hand. This was a pivotal time in my life. It was the first time I had to learn to adapt to a change that drastic. It was the first of many that I would encounter before becoming a #twentysomething.
As an undergrad in college, I went through more change than I ever could have imagined. By my senior year, my life was absolutely nothing like what I thought it would be. That was a great thing, but being a person who by nature hated change, it was a long adaption process to accept that fact. I had a life plan with strict deadlines and the way reality played out looked nothing like what I had envisioned for my life as a pre-teen.
I didn’t really understand at the time how well that transition period would serve me in the future, but looking back, I couldn’t be more grateful for it. That period of time taught me that I wouldn’t die if life didn’t go my way. Can we talk about what a relief that was?!? I mean goodness, as someone who thought the world would stop if something didn’t go according to plan, I could finally breathe and stop trying to be so damn #perfect all the time. And let me tell you, it felt GOOD to let go of all that tension. Eventually, I learned to not only accept that life never really goes according to plan, I embraced it. The moment that all of my pre-conceived expectations were shattered into a million pieces is the same moment that I truly started living my life to its fullest.
Let’s fast forward a few years. I am now about to enter the biggest change in my young-adult life. I am on the verge of leaving the world of academia that I have sought so much comfort in for the last 7 years. Soon, I will be finding my place in the adult world and hopefully with that, the career of my dreams – saying that out loud gives me #butterflies and it hasn’t even happened yet. The best part about it is that with all the experience I have in surviving life-altering changes, I don’t have to anxiously await this transition process as I have so many times before in my life. This time, I am excitedly awaiting my next adventure. I can’t wait to see what’s next! But none of it would have happened without have the courage to make so many changes before now – even when they were scary ones. I’ve learned that not knowing the outcome is the best part. Not having expectations of every situation means that I get to explore life instead of trying to control it.
I get now why Millennials love adventure and thrills and change. We want to add more chapters to the books of our lives and die knowing that we made the most of it all. Change is a good thing because it creates opportunity. Those opportunities allow us to change the world we live in – hopefully for the better – and we always know that if something doesn’t work out, we are just another change away from making it better. “Change” doesn’t have to be an intimidating word; it just has to be one we embrace so that our lives don’t get stale. Nobody likes stale bread, so why would we live our lives like crusty, crotchety people? It’s no fun and Millennials are all about bringing the fun, so make more changes. The worst that can happen is you will learn something. The best… well I guess you will just have to get out there and see for yourself!
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