The past 7 years have been rough. That is the simplest way I can describe it. People come and they go from our lives and it used to sting a little but now, I’m at peace with the losses. Some of those people were never going to change so I changed instead. I either outgrew them or decided having their toxic nastiness in my life was a bridge too far. Of course, I used to always say how I didn’t care about anything or that nothing bothered me, like every good Gen Xer does but that was just posturing dipped in a sarcasm coating. Self-preservation if you will. Can’t hurt me because I will push you away before anything bad happens. Now, I just walk away midsentence. Free, clear and satisfied. There will be no more tolerating the intolerable. Enough is enough.
God, what happened to us way back when to get us to the place we are now? I know the answer to that question, I’ve documented all the instances that apply to the WHAT in the initial question in many past posts but still, did it have to be like this? No it didn’t but, honestly, I’m glad it’s happening. Now, at the my advancing age, I’m trying desperately to fix the damage caused to me, my inner child, my current mental state and the relationships with those most important to me. My life, my reach and my positive contribution to this world are all still very much in play and it’s time to start shouting. No more staying to ourselves. No more blending into the background after whispering inflammatory statements designed to rile what’s left of the bent and brittle Silent Gen and angry Boomer antagonists.
We were and still are very adept at stirring the pot but now it matters more. Our very existence depends on it, despite what MeeMaw and PeePaw pontificate and speculate based on a daily diet of Fox News and Facebook rage scrolling. “Those younger generations don’t respect their elders!” No they don’t because they know how shitty you treated their parents and they see how shitty you still treat anyone not like you. All of those years of abiding by the “be seen but not heard” edict helped a huge swath of multiple generations beyond Gen X develop amazing observation skills. Millennials, Gen Z and Gen Alpha are quite the detectives and they are breaking down the façade built to corral all objectors into a corner. Once the building has been dismantled there will be no more corners, just wide open space, everything out in the open for all to see.
And it’s the accountability aspect that frightens the controlling class the most. Shining a spotlight on the sins of the father, the sins of the party and the sins of the corporation is tantamount to treason in their eyes. HOW DARE YOU QUESTION OUR WISDOM! There is nothing wise about using deception to control and every con and every trick gets found out eventually. It took my generation longer to rise back up from the dark hole we were pushed into over and over because we were told we were slackers, lazy and weak. Many of us were used as punching bags, literally and the phrase, “I’ll give you something to cry about,” still rings in our ears when looking back on the childhood abuse we endured. “You’re sad? Too bad!” There was no therapy for us until we could pay for it ourselves. There was no reprieve from self-doubt and shame until we were far enough away from the source to recover.
So now, I see my role as a supporting one for the generations that have come after me. I don’t feel like I “lost my chance” or that it’s too late to create change because as long as I can still speak then I can encourage, support and uplift younger fighters all the way to the finish line. That is my place in this world, to do what my parents and grandparents couldn’t or wouldn’t do. I am not obsolete or out of touch, I am coming back to life. The regeneration of spirit, ground into bits by lead poisoned elders who took their anger with themselves out on us. Their shame is not my shame and I will not regurgitate that same old bile onto younger generations. It’s over. We are done taking their shit and understand the sheer value of power in numbers.
Combined, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z total almost 207 million in the United States with Gen Alpha slated to eclipse every generation at almost 2 billion, worldwide, by 2025. Where will the Silent and Boomer generations be in the next decade? It’s not smug to state the most obvious location of many in that age group, RIP, so I will just say that those remaining will be greatly outwitted and seriously outnumbered. But will they still be in power? Not if we all, collectively, have anything to say about it! Voting isn’t enough because gerrymandering cheaters hate losing so it is NOW time to stop being polite and stop ignoring the vile bullshit coming out of the mouths of those who gleefully wipe their hypocritical feet on the fruits of OUR labor. We do all the work and Boomers and what’s left of the Silent Generation (with the tiniest smidge of Greatest Generation remnants) benefit without having to expend any energy or effort.
Stop handing them the power! They have squandered their integrity in exchange for high paying positions in which they haven’t engaged in an “honest” days’ work in decades. The policy of earning their dues was always a charade, especially if their daddy owned the company or grandfather left a nice nest egg for them in his will. What exactly was “earned” and what was simply gifted to them by virtue of being born? Was Gen X bequeathed the same generous riches? Some, maybe but it wasn’t even close. Money over morals and power over the good of the people is the true motto of this soulless class. And, that may sound judgmental of me, clinging to stereotypical labels of Silent Gen/Loudest Complainers and Boomer Boss/Money Hungry Monsters but, if the boots fit then pull those straps on up you laughable liars!
That felt good! Therapy is expensive but yelling into the void can be oddly cathartic too. And, there is a huge void between the ears of those who refuse to hear, either because their own inner shame is too painful to acknowledge or, they just don’t care. I’m starting to believe it’s the not giving a shit part that is the most true of many in the older generations, not all of course but still, way too many.
Gen X is always billed as the apathetic, dead inside cohort but, for me, that was always claimed in defense and never actually true. I cared too much and got burned every time I let my guard down with older generations so now, in hindsight, I absolutely see who it was and still is with the inability to empathize and feel remorse. Was it the pervasive daily lead exposure or because their mommy liked a martini or four to take the edge off when she was pregnant with them? We may never know which and even though my generation was exposed in a similar fashion it feels as if we got all of the doom and gloom and none of the over exaggerated egomaniacal tendencies. God, I would have loved having the confidence of a mediocre Boomer back then, just without the entitled asshole behavior though.
Now, having written all of this out, in my public journal for all to see, do I care if I ruffle sensitive feathers? No. The days of worrying what others think or being concerned how I am perceived by Silent Gen and Boomer elders is done. We are the new wiser generation now. We are Elder X, a kinder, gentler version for a new world order. This is the world we built when we chose to raise our children different than we were raised. The construction started after each instance of us listening to what our kids needed rather than silencing them. It continued being built after we summoned the courage to finally seek help for our rapidly declining mental health and our inability to utilize healthy coping mechanisms. We stopped yelling, we stopped belittling, we stopped being like our parents. That slippery slope has been hard to climb and many of us haven’t made it back to the top yet but we are trying.
We are asking for forgiveness from our children and now, grandchildren because it is warranted. But also, because it’s how we will learn to grow together and it is how we will grow stronger. It has to be done or we all fail and I don’t know about you, younger generations, but I’m sure as hell never letting a fucking Boomer outsmart me! Are you in? We are more powerful together than they could ever hope to be.
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