Life is never stagnate. I don’t know if it’s karma or just the way energy was meant to flow in this world, but if I have learned anything in 24 years of life, it’s that life will always throw you a curve ball. The second you feel most comfortable and secure is the moment to be wary. Life loves to pull the rug out from under those enjoying contentment.
That’s not meant to be a negative statement. Life changes; it’s just a fact. If everything remained the same, we’d have quite a boring world. As such, one of the keys to happiness is being able to find contentment in uncertainty.
I’ve known this for a long time, which is why I kicked myself for being unprepared for Friday’s news. For those who don’t read my Stream of Consciousness posts, I was laid off on Friday. The past handful of months have been detailed with contentment, and I just knew something would happen to mix it all up.
You can’t predict those events, though. You can’t prepare for everything. As I have been aware of life’s uncertainly for a while, I still find myself relatively content. I have a plan in place that has worked for me many times before and am doing my best to remain confident. There is certainly an undercurrent of inadequacy running through my mind, but I won’t let that affect me. Being in a position where you suddenly have no job is a rather normal occurrence in adulthood. I accept that and I am moving forward.
This post isn’t about the specifics of my situation. I’m writing today to discuss the idea of uncertainly and how well we deal with it. To me, handling uncertainty is a necessity of life. Nothing it guaranteed and nothing last for ever. Whether or not you choose to accept uncertainty is irrelevant.
I know a lot of people who complain or lament today’s economy. It was only a few decades ago that the average 24-year-old would have been married, owned a house and worked at a steady job. Those days are past us, with some saying Millennials, my generation, will average five different careers in their lifetime. One survey even found that Millennials may have 15-20 different jobs over their lives. Gone are the days where most people stayed at one job for decades. Given what’s I’ve seen happen to friends after college graduation, I’m not surprised. Even if Millennials are happy to stay with the company they currently work for, chances are that company will have other plans.
While this all sounds depressing, it doesn’t have to be. I think the Millennial generation is more prepared for this sort of economy than any that came before. We are more used to change in the things that effect our every day lives.
Everyday technology has gone through many rapid changes over my lifetime and it shows no signs of slowing down. As such, I have become extremely adaptable. When I was young, my family had box T.V.s. I listen to music via CDs on my boombox or portable CD player. Just a couple of years later, the VHS tapes I so loved became DVD. The T.V.s became flatter and my CD collection was complied onto a MP3 player smaller than my hand.
Maybe all that seems petty, but I remember my father complaining about DVDs, proclaiming he’d never by a DVD player He now owns a DVD player. I remember him complaining about flat-screen T.V. and HD-TV, claiming he’d never buy another once his box T.V. quit on him He now own, of all things, a smart TV.
People take changes in their personal electronics seriously. My parents’ biggest issue was having to learn how to operate a new piece of technology to do basically the same thing as their outdated technology. This ‘t a problem I usually have. As soon as something changes, as soon as there is something new and better, I am prepared to learn. In fact, I seem to catch on to new technology pretty well.
My mom once looked a me in wonder as I fixed some minor computer problems she was having, asking how I knew what I was doing. What I told her seemed so simple. I was just pressing buttons. Having used computers since Kindergarten, I learned by doing. No matter what new things technology throws at me, I can always lean on my knowledge of old technology to guide me through the use of new technology.
I propose that most if not all Millennials have this skill of adaptation. Those who can adequately translate it into their daily lives will have an easier time adapting to all life changes. That, of course, doesn’t remove hardship. It’s more of mental game and the ability to remain calm.
There isn’t a study I can cite for my theory. Really, I’m just using myself. People seem to think it would be normal for me to be lost in misery as I carry on after being laid off. While I’m certainly not happy about it, I’ve made my list of objectives. I know what I have to do to move on and, while the future is uncertain, fear is minimal. I’m good with change. More than that, I embrace change. I think, all Millennials, having grown up with more change than perhaps any generation before them, are better equipped to deal with dramatic changes more than any other generation before.
How do you handle change? Do you think the rapid pace of technological advancement has made Millennials more adaptable? Is this a positive effect? Do you know of any job openings for writers, journalist or marketers in the Chicagoland area?