Gen X to the MAX!
Generation X: born between 1965 -1980
*dislaimer 80’s girl perspective
I was born into the generation that was known as the latch-key generation. According to History.com, two-income households, single-parent homes, and rising divorce rates led to this generation being named the least parented generation. Gen Xers embraced life and explored the world without adult supervision. Riding bicycles across town until dawn and charging cokes and candy on a tab at a local store created a sense of independence. Gen Xers could occupy themselves all day long without technology.
As a Gen Xer, patience was a character trait that had to be developed. So, there was a lot of waiting:
Waiting by the phone for friends to call
Waiting for a favorite song on the radio to make mixed tapes
Waiting for favorite videos on MTV
Waiting for a favorite TV show every week
Waiting for the VHS and cassettes to rewind
Waiting for Saturday morning cartoons
In case you can't tell, we had the waiting covered.
Gen Xers knew the sting of pain from a competitive dodge ball game as well as being clotheslined in a game of Red Rover. Teachers paddling students was actually a thing. We knew how to administer first aid ourselves, whether scraped knees or removing embedded bbs from a close-range bb gun confrontation. Gen Xers grew up resilient and self-reliant. We were tough!
Hands down, the best music in history belongs to Generation X. Summers, with all the phenomenal hair bands with the big ballads, riding around town with the windows down. "You Dropped a Bomb on Me," playing in the background at Friday night skate nights. We had he best movie soundtracks. What was yours? I need to know. Rap made its appearance. Prince, Madonna, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson were music icons. I can’t leave out Duran Duran because of a friend’s obsession at this time.
Gen Xers experienced freedom and independence, learning how to problem-solve even if the decisions were wrong. A generation very thankful that mistakes made weren't documented on social media.
Cruising around town, mud riding, and bonfires were legitimate forms of entertainment. Friday night football and unhealthy rivalries provided its fair amount of drama and memories. We can file that under thankfulness for no social media. We witnessed the birth of cell phones and the internet. Not only did we have the music, but we also enjoyed some of the greatest films in history:
Back to the Future
The Breakfast Club
Nightmare on Elm Street
The Lost Boys
St. Elmo's Fire
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
And many, many more!
PG 13 was introduced in 1984, with the first movie being Red Dawn. It was fitting for a generation worried about a cold war. Several other events in history that shaped Gen Xers' development included AIDS, Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, Just Say No to Drugs, and "We Are the World" benefit single for famine in Africa.
I can identify with my generation's stubbornness. Plus, I'm just stubborn due to who I am. My husband says I'm much. I agree; sometimes, I get overwhelmed by my muchness. An example of my recent stubbornness had me sitting on the backseat floorboard eating French fries, picking hair and dirt off of them, and feeling satisfied because I was doing the opposite of what he was wanting. 🤷♀️ Not sure why I drew a line in the sand there because I was the one eating dirty fries, but at the time, it felt like I was winning. 😂
I find it hard to balance work and home life, unlike my generation. Yet, it is considered a strength of Gen Xers. I would say most of it is due to my unfilled gaps below.
I am motivated, energetic, passionate, committed, have big emotions, love people, and can make connections with others easily.
I am my worst enemy and say everything that pops in my head. I operate in extremes. I have big emotions, which is my strength, too, but can lend itself to more significant loss and disappointment.
A little bit about me:
From the '80s
• Friends and family
• Ralph Macchio
• Bon Jovi and all big hair bands
• Sweet Child O' Mine
• Rolling yards
• Sunday movies
• Riding around town
• Strawberry Shortcake
• Egg McMuffins
• Joanie and Chachi
• The royal wedding
• Buying cassette tapes as soon as they were released
• Watching the first episode of the Simpsons at a friend's house
• Watching Refrigerator Perry and Monday night football
• Casey Kasem's top 40
• Members Only jackets
• Guess blue jeans
• Relationship with the Lord
• Relationship building
• Friends and family
• Laughing - ALOT
• Coffee with friends
• A good story
• A great adventure
• Breakfast in bed
• Being a self-proclaimed princess
• A good challenge
• Resolving conflict
From the '80s
• A busy signal
• New Coke
• Jelly Shoes
• Women unable to run in scary movies
• Pictures of my BIG, BIG HAIR!!!
• Taking pictures and getting them developed to discover they were all blurry.
• Being misunderstood
• Intentionally causing harm to a person physically, emotionally, or mentally.
• Sharing – sometimes – don't touch my stuff.
• Mental Illness
• Working outside
UNFILLED SPACES IN MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE
When I commit, I am "all in," so I want a company to be "all in" for me. I'm willing to be challenged, stretched, and pushed to overcome conflicts. I want a company that equally fights and invests in me not only in words and actions but also financially. High expectations aren't one-sided. I have equally as high expectations for an employer. According to equalpaytoday.org, women earn an average of 82 cents for every dollar that men make. We can address this gap in another post.
UNFILLED SPACES IN MY PERSONAL LIFE
My life is not what I thought it would look like this season. Mental illness has been a considerable part of our family story. As a mom, it breaks me. Distance, silence, and loneliness plague me at times. Yet, God has me in the present. Memories of the better days sadden me, and the unknowns of the future overwhelm me.