Crushing Inevitability

I am thirty seven. I have no children. I am not displeased by this but I am surprised. I had assumed that I would end up with children no matter what I tried to do with my life.

The notion that what I do, what I aim for and what I attempt actually affects my life has gone as a very nice surprise to me. Perhaps it was the Depression/Anxiety but I had at the back of my mind for most of my childhood and adolescence the notion that no matter what, I would end up betraying myself and my own ideas of what I wanted for my life.

Looking at BREXIT and the entirety of Parliament I’m wondering if the notion that there is nothing you can do to change anything is some sort of disease affecting most of my country.

You vote assuming that nothing will actually change, you suggest things in parliament assuming nothing will actually change and then when things change there is a paralysis akin to that of learned helplessness. There’s a lot of bitterness stirred up in the mainstream media between the baby boom generations and the millennial generation. (X-ers and xennials stay out of this this is between us and our parents…) I’m not sure it’s aimed correctly, but it has been being stirred for thirty years every time the baby boomers have blamed the millennials for something they’ve done to them, my big example is blaming millennials for being given participation trophies.

As a kid I read these news stories and listened to adults bitching about them and responded – but who do you think is giving us the trophies?!? We’re not demanding them, we’re not in charge, you guys are!

The stories all about how millennials are ruining this, that and the other all seem to me to be versions of those stories.

The learned helplessness though, it worries me, I don’t think it’s just me who’s gotten to my late thirties before truly believing I can affect my own life. Maybe it’s not been the constant reinforcement that nothing we do or say will be listened to by the people in charge (Greenham Common, Battle of the Beanfield, Iraq War Protests…) maybe it’s the fact that we are undergoing a mental health crisis and no one is being treated. Either way, no one seems to be prepared for change, we’re suddenly faced with actual BREXIT and everyone’s surprised that we’ve ended up here. There was a vote that mattered and no one expected that.

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