Being a millennial is lying awake at night thinking, “Oh shit, the bees! The bees are dying and if they die, we die. I have to do something about it!” It’s getting out my phone and researching what I can do to help save the bees. It’s waking up my husband and asking him if we can raise bees at our new house and explaining why. It’s doing all this knowing that I am allergic to bees. That’s what being a fucking millennial is.
You’ve all seen the videos. “What’s wrong with this generation?!” You’ve all read the articles about millennials, about what’s wrong with us, about fixing us, about our selfishness, and inability to grow up. Maybe you’ve seen the other articles about the dreamer generation, the interconnected, idealist US. Maybe you know that the millennials are the most highly educated generation in history. Maybe you’ve watch Tiny House Nation or seen this trend toward living tiny. Maybe you’ve had discussions. God knows, I’ve had discussions. People like to make wide sweeping generalizations about a group of people nearly 2 billion (yeah billion) strong. They like to pretend that our empathy is weakness as we cry for those who may get deported, lose healthcare, the ability to parent or inherit their own children. Many enjoy mocking our focus on ‘making an impact’ as though its some excuse for what they call wandering aimlessly. Enough already.
I am a millennial, and this is a day in my mind, make of it what you will.
Wake up in the morning to my two year old son. I give him all kinds of snuggles, and kisses and make him some breakfast. I look at his plate and lament the lack of veggies but in my mind decry the fact that it’s winter and to get fresh veggies that weren’t trucked from halfway around the planet, I would have had to can them last year. Ask myself why we didn’t sign for that CSA last year, and start the tea. I reach in the cupboard and get my local honey (minimally processed, of course) and wonder what the farmer’s markets where we are moving will be like. Will I be able to find honey that is sold by a local farmer or will I have to give it up? I see the price sticker on the top and wonder how much it will cost there, and remember that’s its worth it- local farmers are the backbone of country’s health.
I serve my son his egg sandwich, and allow him to watch a show while he eats reminding myself that I watched a few cartoons in my day, and I was okay. I go over to my computer and research CSAs in our new area and email a couple farmers for quotes of the upcoming season. Then I research bees. The show is over, but I make a mental note to contact the farmer at a later date and ask what kinds of pesticides they use, if they raise bees (seeing as it can massively increase yields), and make sure to find one that isn’t killing off the bees.
When I take my son’s plate I notice a little bit of egg and bread left, but not much. I lament the idea of throwing it away and wasting the food, but know that he won’t eat it and I can’t truck it to a starving child who would only get a mouthful from it anyway. While I am contemplating this, I remember seeing that really cool composting trash can that you can have in your kitchen. What could be better than home grown fertilizer? But I don’t garden, too many groundhogs, cats, and bunnies here, and so I toss the food away.
My son and I play a while, and then settle in to read books. While reading about different vehicles we see a police car. I am both thankful and deeply saddened by the sight of it. What to tell my son about the police? He may not have to worry about being shot on sight like our brothers of color, but he may be shot like Guifords for flashing a cop car with his lights calibrated too brightly. Do I tell him that he will probably stand on the wrong side of the police at a protest in the years to come, that they are human and don’t always help people but sometimes hurt them? Do I tell him to be scared of them? To obey them without question, no matter what? I tell him that police try to help people in all kinds of situations and leave it at that. We read the Butter Battle Book, and I wonder what he’ll think about it as he grows older. Will he see that our country sees another one as evil simply for the way they butter their bread? What if he wants to be in the military, part of the killing machine that has become a conduit for political interest and spark igniting growing hate, malice, and death?
He’s napping now, and I catch up on the news and watch some Supernatural re-runs, all while playing the Sims. I get a message from some friends in Venezuela who I and my parents are helping to flee their country. They are grateful for the help that we have offered thus far. Soon they will be able to leave for a more stable place. Briefly, I get angry and disappointed that my many friends who seem so pro-refugee couldn’t give a dollar to help them. It’s seems it’s all talk, or maybe it doesn’t seem legit because it’s a personal request. Maybe they only like to help through organizations who provide to nameless masses rather than a neighbor. Facebook then tells me it’s my ‘brothers’ birthday. He’s not really my brother, but I call him him my brother. He was an exchange student that my parents hosted from Saudi Arabia. I wish him a happy birthday, try to figure out a time to invite him for dinner, then head back to the news.
Clinton Foundation a front for political sway, no surprise. Trump maybe leaning toward a single payer system and taking a leaf out of Bernie’s book- let’s double check that a few times. Ah ha. Trump said he doesn’t want single payer, made vague statements about his healthcare for all (bullshit), says he’ll lower prices by burning the insurance companies via searing tweets. Sad. Another child shot accidentally by a child, remind myself to ask every person we visit where their guns are, if they are locked, and are they sure. My husband sends me a message that his company which he has worked for for 15 years, will pay for our house to be cleaned before we move there, as we are relocating for them and will not need the allotted storage fees for our things. Score.
Wake my son up and rush to take him to my mother in laws before my doctor’s appointment. On the way, I hope that she doesn’t allow him to shoot her with a toy gun after I made it very clear that guns are tools not toys and we don’t pretend to shoot people. After gently stewing on that, my worry about my doctor’s appointment resurfaces. How much is this going to cost? Should I tell the doctor about how I think I have seasonal depression, I know I don’t want to pay for some crazy prescription. I debate back and forth about our HSA and whether or not we’ll survive the year or if some injury or illness will bankrupt us. Eventually, I kind of decide that the PPO should be our choice next year, this is just too big a gamble. How do people live like this. I pass our representative’s office and simultaneously remember that it’s MLK Day and know I must speak to her. I try to think of a good time this week to go over.
My son is still at his Gram’s and I have a little time to myself. I left the book I’ve been reading, On Dignity and Freedom by BF Skinner, in the car and so settle on curling up with Rage of the Privileged Class by Ellis Cose. Then I get distracted and wonder again if I should try an AME church. I read their website saying that the denomination had a theological break from American Protestantism because it believed in the fundamental inherent worth of every single human not just the white man. It’ll have to wait until the move is final before I can see if that church will be a good fit for me. Oh well, time will tell.
Hot chocolate will help me relax a bit before my little monckin comes back home. As I make a cup, I think of the company I brought it from: Divine Chocolate. This brings me back to an earlier thought that every single dollar I spend has an impact and I have to decide what will it be, what practices will I vote for every single day? I remember that I haven’t been using the Buycott app as I had intended. It really was informative while I did because it told me all kinds of information about the company and I could make a truly educated vote for buying something. Then I remember that my son is two, and doesn’t have the patience for Momma to scan each individual item, read about it’s impact, and find an acceptable alternative for those companies that are less than stellar. Briefly, I remember the inspector of our new house telling me I might end up going to Wal-mart a lot because it’s closest, but no I will not. They will not get my vote.
My husband and I talk after putting my son to sleep about having another child and who we would want to invite to the birth. I had a home-birth with my son and I would want to do it the same way again. After that, I go back on the website that has photo listings of kids waiting for adoption. We would like to adopt older kids because 66% of kids that age out without being adopted will end up homeless, in jail or dead within one year. We want to give them some place to go, and someone to be accountable to and fall back on. Personally, I wish I could house them all.
After this I’ll probably play the Sims, watch Supernatural, and read the illustrated Chamber of Secrets I got for Christmas before going to bed, unless I’m inexplicably haunted by something else that’s dying or a bit of news that’s disconcerting. I’m sure I’ll do more research before the night is through, it’s all day everyday and there’s so much I want to know. So, while people call me naive, I’ll intend to be faith-full, giving and generous. While people call me and my husband lazy, we’ll continue to work endlessly to raise a generous giving son. While people say we need to do our fair share and step up, we’ll continue to plan the renovation for when my parents come to live with us. When people say that our generation insists on some vague sense of impact making, we’ll know that each and every decision we make impacts others and it doesn’t care if you deny it or not. While people call us self-absorbed, we’ll continue to donate money to kids halfway around the world each and every month and sponsor our refugee brother and sisters. While people call us wasteful, we’ll make sure our footprint is a little smaller than our parents’. While people call us selfish leeches who need to stand alone, we won’t point out that we have been fortunate to never have drawn unemployment, have not missed any payments unless due to technical error on their part, and have asked our parents for money exactly zero times. We will continue to take on the name calling bullshit because we know that others are not so fortunate. We will continue to fight to keep our idealism alive while we toil away to turn it into realism. Say what you want about my generation, you raised us. You handed us those fucking trophies. So while I ponder how I can learn to crochet plastic bags into mats for the homeless to sleep on, just keep on tweeting about us. I don’t have a twitter, so it’s not going to bother me anyway.
Now, how exactly are we going to save those bees…