What Is a Xennial?
Pronounced: “zen-knee-el.” A quick search of Wikipedia will give you the definition of a Xennial as any person who was born from the late 1970’s to as late as 1985. We are the micro-generation caught between Generation X and the Millennial generation. This is because we were born at the very end of one and the very start of the next. We grew up a lot like most of Generation X, but then awoke to a world of drastic change; just as we entered into adulthood.
A Micro-Generation Lost
Being born into a way the world works, growing up in that world, and then having that world turned upside down; just as we entered adulthood; has left a micro-generation lost and confused in many ways. More often than not, we are told that we are too old for many of the newer technologies and developments. The very next breath; we hear we are too young to truly understand or appreciate the traditional values and experiences of an older generation. Many Xennials go through life feeling as though they are torn between their age, what is expected of them, and even where they fit in. This has caused a lot of this micro-generation to make mistakes and end up behind others of our generation; in terms of career and relationships. As we try to move in one direction, a side of either generation’s influence pulls us in the other direction; causing us to stay still in our lives.
This inner conflict and duality are partly to blame for the rising numbers of suicide in the 90’s that overtook the, then-young, population. Even those who are still here; have a story of attempted suicide or years of similar thoughts. It is a sensitive and harsh subject; but one that must be faced and discussed. Why? Because even as this micro-generation gets older; these tragedies can be the result of still feeling lost and confused.
The worse part? So many people who are a part of the Xennial micro-generation, don’t even realize that this aspect of themselves is a factor. So many do not realize that there is an entire group within this generation. There are so many people that know exactly how they feel and share in those experiences and confusing times. This generation is not alone. Every Xennial needs to know that.
Attention Xennials, Welcome to 2020
If you do the basic math, you will realize that Xennials are in our 30’s and 40’s now. A lot of people who fall into this micro-generation have spouses and grown children by now. That being said; many do not. Many of have been lost and trying to sort out our lives, and managed to make it this far without having unplanned kids; which was another result of a generation years ago. The products of those times, have grown up already and have long since been adults themselves.
Every generation throughout history reaches a point of talking about waking up one day and realizing they are much older. For Xennials; this experience is a little different. Much like several other milestone ages; we hit this point, but are still stuck between two generations, and living in a world that seemed to change on us overnight. More than ever, at this point in our lives, we find that we are, in fact, too old to fully be a part of things that define a generation… because, we are not actually a part of that generation. Though not by much, we are still more the “older and wiser” members of society; compared to those that we are still close enough in age to, that we can empathize with and have commonality with. Perhaps at this stage of life, more than ever before in our years on Earth, we fully realize just how stuck between generations, we really are.
Playing the No Blame Game
Perhaps the greatest trait associated with our generation, and more so the Xennial micro-generation; is that we are considered the generation with Millennial problems, that doesn’t blame other generations. Millennials are criticized all the time for blaming the “Boomers” and blaming other members of society. The “Boomers” are criticized for complaining about the Millennials. This feud and trend of blaming or putting down another generation, skipped us. We are unfortunately known for screwing up, but also for accepting the blame and responsibility for our own mistakes. It is up to each individual to determine if we have learned from those mistakes, or if we have done anything to correct them, but either way; we accept our role in our own failures.
Perhaps that is the reason the “blame game” between generations skipped over us entirely. The previous generation knows we accept our own mistakes, and we never blamed the generation after us for things going wrong. As a result; the generation that followed us was blamed, by the generation that came before us; and vice versa. Something to think about.
Departing Message to Other Xennials
If you are a part of the Xennial micro-generation; you are not alone. You feel lost or caught between two worlds; the one you knew and the one you suddenly keep waking up in. There are those of us who not only understand you, but are right there with you. However, lost you may be or feel, it is not too late to better ourselves, our world, and our generation. We are not gone. We are still here. Spread out across the world, we are still together as a generation. We are going to be okay. It may be taking us longer, but we will- in fact- thrive. Stay strong and stay you. Anything lost, can be found. Anything stuck, can be set free. We got this!