Coming of age

This year all the 90s kids will officially be counted as adults.
We are coming of age.
The talk of the “next generation” has been on the lips of many, from pulpits to rallies to corporate boardrooms,
And while some have made room for newcomers
There has been a growing sense among us millennials of not being taken seriously.
Each generation has had its struggles
And amongst ourselves our struggles have not been the same.
We are the beneficiaries of the work of many who have gone before us,
Yet we have also been held ransom for the sacrifices of our predecessors,
Forced into submission as though to pay for our very existence in our own homelands.
We have been celebrated like no other generation before with more opportunities for more people than at any other time in history.
Yet at the same time our ambition has been perceived as ungrateful entitlement.
Some of us have wasted many chances for a better life,
While others have kept their eye on the ball and haven’t looked back.
We have been sold dreams and been met with hard reality,
We have faced the broken promises of our governments
And have tested the limits of the so called freedoms of the twenty first century.
Some of us are living our best lives ever, doing things and going places that our parents only dreamed of.
Others of us are still paying for the shortfalls that our parents failed to cover.
Many of us have grown cynical, tired of great speeches and moving stories of “heroes” past because for so many of us business has gone on as usual
And the inspirational words of great statesman have just been that- words.
We are the activists on the front lines filling stadiums and burning tires in our streets,
We are also the skeptical citizens who have never exercised our right to vote for a lack of belief in a worthy candidate.
We have had extended childhoods, still living with our parents well into our twenties
While others of us have been forced into parenthood well before we were ready.
We are unafraid to be “woke”; calling out the injustices of racism, sexism and inequality
Yet we too have perpetuated the prejudices of our ancestors.
We have struggled with our identities and found companionship with others who haven’t got it figured out,
We’ve made it cool to not be cool
And taken our lives online seriously
Making our hashtags a currency for conversation.
We have been loved and hated, copied and ignored, misunderstood and made into role models, underestimated only to later be called ‘future leaders’.
Well, that ‘future’ has come.
We will not be satisfied with scraps or second hand dreams
Nor will we be limited by the expectations and estimations of others.
We are coming of age
Ready or not.

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