It took two bottles of wine to make us finally admit that we are indeed the lost generation. Stuck between those that suceeded in everything, the baby boomers, those influenced by the technology revolution and the kids nowadays, the generation internet, we are like the house from “Up”, jammed between more successful houses that look better, more futuristic, more elegant.
While everyone is lost at 25, we are lost throughout our twenties (and I do hope things´ll change in our thirties) and if we are truly honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we have always been lost.
The girlfriend of a friend I know from university told us that we should stop complaining about being lost all the time. She – herself a proclaimed member of the young generation, as addicted to her phone as a drug addict to heroin (she was writing tweets while she lectured us), about five years younger than most of us – seemed to have her shit together. And everyone was like “yeah, that girl is right, she knows stuff”, but deep down inside of us we resented her for at least being more able than us to pretent she knew her way in life.
Still, it´s not just about pretending. If we really wanted to, we could probably pretend to be happy with our lives. Sometimes we even experience this glorious moment of being proud of what we have achieved. Unfortunately, what we have achieved is never enough. The generation before us had to work harder, had to rely so much more on their own intelligence and less on google, and the generation after us will fully benefit from what the global network has to offer.
What about us?
Our paths don´t seem as laid out for us as they seem for other generations. It seems that we have more and less opportunities, are more and less experienced, are more and less sure of what we can do, what we want, and where we want to go in our lives. It´s a confusing situation and we dodge behind our seemingly good lives to hide that we are actually not able to figure out our paths.
Somehow, finding our own way is more complicated than for the visionaries before and after us. We feel less equipped to shine. We feel less prepared to succeed. We have complexes about who we are and feel less free to change how we want people to see us. We are cowards, but that´s not just our fault. We have been told to do more and to be more like the ones that came before and after us so often that we have forgotten to be ourselves.
And while we lead good lives with good jobs and nice houses, we are incredibly insecure about ourselves. Yet while we know we are lost and are able to spot other club members easily, we don´t really know how to change our situation, because we are too shy to admit that we are lost – which is what we should do first in order to be able to change something about our situation. Instead, we hide behind the good life we have, the good job and the nice house.
The wine did the trick – and soon the bank employee, the event manager, the sales person for dental hygiene equipment, the teacher, and the happy stay-home mum of two admitted how lost we all really are. We just haven´t found the set of multi-colored balloons that we can tether to our house and fly away with. But instead of looking for the balloons, we simply sat there and drank our wine, glad we dropped our guard amongst kindred spirits, because even though we are lost, at least we are not alone.