Millennials: A fellow traveler

I wouldn’t exactly say, that at the age of 60, I am a Millennial myself. Actually, a baby boomer technically speaking, of an era and a generation, where it was thought you really could have it all. Well, when I was born in 1954, and grew up in Coeur d’Alene my home town; I was one of those people who did not have it all. It was hard to get a job. If you did not already have a resume by the age of 18, then how likely were you to get work? If there was someone you didn’t know, required for reference purposes, then you were less likely to get a job. If the argument was, that you could always seek out teachers to supply references; then you were definitely going to struggle to find work, if those teachers either hated or ignored you. Long before the Millennial generation, I was one of those young people having to live with my parents, and hating it. Then the Army, and finally I found civilian work after I had been in the Army for awhile. But in what had become a “right to work state,” the pay wasn’t sufficient for me to move away and live on my own. Even before the Millenials mentioned in the Daniel Walters’ column in “The Inlander: The Selfie Generation;” I became one of those people, trying to make an independent living with my own start up, a farmers’ market associated business: Morpheus Creative photography, with pictorial website. It was a start up that might have seemed to go nowhere fast, in actually becoming a successful business. One in which I could have accomplished my goal of living independently and on my own. But, I did not give up on it; marketing fiber crafts, photos, plants, and garden products. I had been at that business now for better than 20 years.

Dad died at 81 while all three of us still lived at our Coeur d’Alene, Idaho address on 15th address. By then, I had published a sci fi short story about “The Vracny” in Modern Short Stories. But they turned me down cold on the next story I tried to submit, so that was that. I tried paying for long range tuition on how to write stories and books. Only those people decided to criticize the intentions behind the story instead of providing input on how to better write it. The story involved a much picked on little boy, you see; who helps rescue a captive unicorn… It can’t be a “little girl” who does it instead? Was the whiny reply at the time. With that not so helpful response, I insisted on a full refund. At the same time, it influenced why I would never seek out a publisher or editor ever again, to brainstorm the idea of a book or short story. I don’t and never have done what was called “traditional thinking.” So until Amazon produced Kindle and went looking for writers to fill the e-book shelves, writing novels for me was not on the radar.

I was in my 50s before we had the internet, and in particular, the siblings when they helped mom and I move to our new home in Dalton Gardens, made sure we were set up for the internet. Like Mr. Walters, I learned about AOL instant chat and chat rooms. I found message boards for the kinds of quick responses to the news and issues of the day, that was so much faster and quite frankly, far more satisfying, than maybe getting a letter to the editor published. Plus for me, it was educational as well. Facebook was created, I set up an account. Twitter was created, I set up an account there and sometimes would chat with people at 140 characters. But that was off and on. Mom died of lung cancer at Life Care, October 2011. There was all kinds of burdensome questions about where I would go from here, because the siblings wanted to sell her home. Ultimately, my new home was back in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and in a mobile home park. But at the age of 58 going on 59, I was also a pure medical wreck. That was just from the stress of mom’s death and all that had happened. I no longer held a job. I doubted that I could, ever again. A year later, 59 going on 60, I had published my first fantasy novel to Kindle on Amazon, a very long fantasy novel: “Are You a Space Alien? And other adventures: A four part science fiction novel.” So, that must make me by now, a 60 year old millennial who hopes that my first ever book catches fire.

I don’t post this latest topic to blog in order to take something away from the next generation. In some ways, “The baby boomer generation” was in denial about the rest of us in the ranks. That there were people like myself, who didn’t have nor could we hope to have, a ship coming into port. That unlike Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc.; there were those of us who couldn’t become a financial success of the kind, to even live a comfortable independence. That’s what being poor actually meant and what it felt like too. In other words, I understand the Millennials frustration. But unlike Mr. Walters, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Reddit, Instagram; is a resource tool that can truly help the next generation get somewhere. If the internet had existed when I was teenager, how quickly could I have e-mailed a prospective employer in another state, someone willing to put a young woman to work and even train that young woman to become an effective employee? If that had been the case, say in the early 1970s, I would no longer have been a resident of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. As it is, I am a Kindle novelist who can handle the realities of upload, download, uplink, downlink, the world wide web, urls, YouTube, and everything else. Because it exists, I am a blog writer. Because it exists, I don’t have to deal with “traditionalism” in the publishing world, that absolutely balks at the ideas that come from my “not so mainstream” head. I hope that my Kindle book does catch fire. I hope that “Aesgard Awakening! After Ragnorak, the Gods are alive!”; once I have completed it and edited, for the purposes of Kindle publication, will also catch fire. As it is, I’d like to thank the “Selfie Generation” for opening the door to a 60 year old baby boomer, to finally market myself. To finally show what I too can do.

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