Suck it up Princess!

Honestly, I am sick of it. This “Age of Entitlement” mentality that people have assumed in the last decade or so.

As a kid I was taught the value of hard work and respect. I was always told if I wanted to go to college, I needed to study hard and get scholarships. If I wanted a car, I needed to get a job and pay for it. If I wanted something and it didn’t fall under the set of things my mother would purchase for me, I had to get it myself. That subset of items barely included Walmart clothing, shoes, and the occasional book. I didn’t have a phone in my room, much less a cell phone until I was in college. I didn’t get a car at 16, I had to use my moms, IF she would let me.

I didn’t feel entitled to anything. A teacher was there to help me learn, to teach me new things, but if I failed, that was my own fault not hers. If I misbehaved, that was my fault, not my mother’s.

Now there is this entire run recently of articles and posts about us “20 somethings who are remaining ‘adolescent.’ ” To which I say. Suck it up PRINCESS. Get over yourself. Get over the belief that we have to “accomplish” anything with our lives. They equate college and creative jobs with success. The idealized 50s home, family, and job with the American Dream. Well guess what? We grew up. We moved on. Our world advanced. Catch up or be left behind with the fossils who gripe about television and movies ruining people. We aren’t ruined. We are different. My mother’s goal in life was to get married, have children and get a stable job. That was the goals of her generation. Then she did exactly what parents are supposed to do. She instilled in me a sense of individuality, confidence, and drive to be more than she was.

If you want to accomplish something with your life, don’t expect someone to give you everything, tell you what to do, or how to go about it, simply DO IT. College degrees do not equal success, but rather drive and intelligence will propel you forward. It’s not our generation’s “problem”; it’s our playing field. We move from here.

The WSJ article calls out several things I want to directly address. First that we are not achieving these lifetime “milestones” within our twenties as our parents did. No we aren’t. The life expectancy of humans is slowly increasing, so logically it only makes sense that our “growth” model also increases. In addition, the number of young adults going to college today is astronomically higher. Unfortunately college has become an extended form of high school to many of those same people. We aren’t being forced to stand on our own feet as early as our parents did, but that doesn’t make us worse for it. When I asked my mother why she had children, in an effort to address my own desires, she responded with “I don’t really know. We didn’t think about it. We just had children. I guess I wanted someone to care for me in my old age.” My husband and I can’t decide to get a new tv without two weeks of debate, so is it at all surprising that something as life changing as children would spark years of careful consideration?

Our lives are not tied to reproduction anymore. Women are able to determine when, how and with whom they will have children, as opposed to being dependent on men to lead them. Our reproductive control has lead to our ability to make informed choices, and even to lead to the choice to not reproduce. A woman’s worth is no longer tied to her ability to mother and birth, but rather to her accomplishments and successes in the same fields as men. People are approaching their lives with consideration and thought as opposed to blindly following tradition and it is the best thing for us, because it is only once we have let go of such things that we are able to forge ahead in ways our ancestors and even people now can barely comprehend!

WSJ talks about jobs and the desire to succeed, focusing on how women are doing it more than men. Well, men do not have hundreds of years of oppression to overcome. Women still have this gigantic looming belief that we have to prove ourselves. So we do. In every way we can find. They discuss how people spend more time in internships and low paying jobs, which honestly is a logical step not at the fault of our generation but at the fault of the companies who employ us. A time was, people started working for a company and often spent their entire lives working for the same company. These days companies and employees no longer feel such a loyalty to each other and the likelihood is, we change jobs every 5 years or so. But does this matter? No. We are responsible for our OWN lives and accomplishments. Don’t rely on an employer to plan your retirement, but rather control it yourself and take responsibility for your lives.

Another thing that bugs me in the article about how we seek out to do our greatest passions for our careers as opposed to looking for jobs. It implies this is a bad thing. Yes, a job not in our field can be required to pay the bills on occasion. I worked at ToysRUs and Borders for 7 months between graduation and landing my “dream” job in the video game industry. But is there something inherently wrong with seeking a career in a field that is our passion as opposed to tradition? And what of it? Or dose this lead back to that blasted sense of entitlement that we shouldn’t have to do crap work before getting to the jobs we want to hold? People believe they are entitled to the reward without the sweat, sleeplessness, and stress of working towards it. If you aren’t willing to work to the bone for what you want, you don’t deserve it! Quit your crying! And just because something isn’t what you want to do or is a menial job beneath an idiot boss at an abysmal company doesn’t mean you should put any less effort into doing your job well. But perhaps this is why I was always promoted at my menial jobs quickly. Not liking a job isn’t any reason to do it any less than with your full devotion. Work at every crap job as if it were the best job in the world and you might just find yourself sitting in that cushy office looking down on the peons.

Don’t even get me started on their usage of video games as an “adolescent” indicator. As if video games are any different from TV, Card Games, Sports, or any other past time that beings as the providence of children until such a time as that generation becomes adults. The truth of the matter is the majority of regular video game players ARE ADULTS. They aren’t toys anymore, but rather complex simulations and computer programs designed for enjoyment.

The blog post, written by a writer I generally admire, goes on to say we aren’t doing these things because we live under the pressure to Accomplish Something Great. Get a grip on yourself. This desire to be famous and have the love, admiration, and adoration of the masses is a sense of rabid entitlement that needs to be purged from our minds. Yes, Mark Zuckerberg made Facebook and became the youngest billionaire ever. He will always be younger than me, thus I can never overcome his accomplishment. Do I care? NO. I get up every morning, go to a job I adore, do a great job at it, come home, play in raids with 24 friends (well 20 friends and 4 people I wish vanished from the face of Azeroth overnight), pay every bill on time, still have money left over to buy mini-pet TCG cards off eBay, and go to bed with a warm fuzzball curled up on my feet. I occasionally bake fantastic bread, grill amazing ribs, and eat an entire tube of Thin Mints. Does that make me any less worthy of praise than Mr. Zuckerburg? Not in the least. My mother is proud of me, my father is proud of me, and I go to bed at night knowing if I die tomorrow, I have accomplished something worth remarking upon. It may not be 500 million users, but 1.75 million people bought and played my game. Most of them hated it too. But where is their game? At the end of the day we should only look to OURSELVES for our measure of success. What have we overcome? What have we accomplished? Is it worthy of admiration and pride? Then job well done. You didn’t create Facebook? So? You raised 3 lovely, well behaved children, who are all doing well in school and show joy? Brava! Who can honestly ask for more than a sense of knowing you have done something amazing?

Our world has changed, and I don’t think any of us would say it hasn’t been for the better. The knowledge of mankind at our finger tips. The ability for our voice to be heard around the world by millions of people without ever leaving our homes. I play a video game with college students from Indiana, Marines in Japan, Marine Biologists in Alaska, video game developers in California, and mothers in Texas. It’s literally MAGIC. Advancements in technology, science and human understanding have lead us to a golden age, that is only being held back by people’s absurd desire to belittle each other, compare themselves to unrealistic figures, and false nostalgia that things used to be “better.” They weren’t. We are more intelligent, enlightened and capable than ever.

GET.OVER.IT. Don’t look to the past for your “guideline”. Look to the future. The world is changing at a rapid rate and if you stop to wonder about the bygone days you will find yourself an archaic leftover from such eras. You are entitled to nothing. Stop making excuses. Stop blaming our “generation”. Stop blaming society for your own shortcomings. We have more choices and opportunities than any other generation of humans. So quit sitting around and griping about what you are entitled (education, love, happiness, liberty, family accomplishment), set your own goals and achieve them. Be happy with YOUR accomplishments and quit trying to fit the mold, achieve the status quo, and striving for aspirations that are impossible. You are only accountable to yourself and responsible for your own future, happiness, and success.

As a kid my mother always congratulated me on what I had done, then pointed me to the next big thing. She always gave me the impression there was always something further to reach for and the only thing that would ever stop me from doing it was myself. In this age of entitlement and whining about how “bad” we have it, even when we really have it spectacularly well, I am grateful beyond measure my mother instilled such values in me that I am able to say, “Suck it up PRINCESS.”

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