For all you who are already fed up of the Xennial label - I mean really, a couple of weeks is a short amount of time on the internet - I give you my new meme:
We now know what Xennials are but we don't know who they are. Born between 1977 and 1983, most xennials are coming of age in their professional lives as they reach their mid-thirties to early forties. Here's a handy top ten of famous Xennials who are trailblazing (or in the case of Heath Ledger, have trailblazed) in their chosen creative field. Do you agree with this list?
James Franco – b. 1978
Actor and writer – best known for 127 Hours and Milk
Diablo Cody – b. 1978
Writer – best known for Juno and Young Adult
Claire Danes – b. 1979
Actress – best know for My So-Called Life and Homeland
Will Chancellor – b. 1979
Writer – best known for A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall
Heath Ledger – b. 1979, d. 2008
Actor - best known for Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight
Barry Jenkins – b.1979
Director – best know for Moonlight
Ryan Gosling – b. 1980
Actor – best known for La La Land and Drive
Christina Ricci – b. 1980
Actress – best known for Prozac Nation and Z: The Beginning of Everything
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – b. 1981
Actor – best known for Inception and Mysterious Skin
Kirsten Dunst – b. 1982
Actress – best known for The Virgin Suicides and The Beguiled
There has been so much coverage in the media recently about Xennials, a micro-generation born between the cusp years of Gen X-ers and Millennials. But what do we know about this newly identified cohort and how might it benefit companies when recruiting senior staff? Here are ten reasons why Xennials make great leaders and what value they can bring to your organisation:
1. Xennials learned to communicate before Whatsapp existed
Xennials grew up when there were limited modes of communication – if you wanted to talk to your friends you had to go and knock at their door, call them on the landline, or write them a letter. Acquiring such analogue communication skills early on in life mean that Xennials can handle long-form writing, are adept at using multiple modes of communicating, and can adjust their style accordingly. They are much less willing to use email to send difficult or complex messages, which are likely to result in miscommunication. If they’re unhappy with someone’s performance, they will invite them into their office and tell them in person. If they’re not getting the service they expect, they pick up the phone. If they want to take formal proceedings against someone, they keep a written record. Knowing how to read a situation and comunicate accordingly is something Xennials excel at.
2. Xennials are specialists but understand the big picture
Many Xennials either didn’t have to pay tuition fees for their first undergraduate degree or only paid a minimal fee compared to today’s standards, meaning they graduated with comparatively small amounts of debt. As a result, they were able to go back to university to pick up diplomas, masters, and other specialist qualifications. These qualifications may have been professional or other academic pursuits, but the upside is they have been able to cultivate specialisms and interests at work and beyond, whether that’s warfare in Ancient Greece or feudal systems in medieval Europe. This means Xennials are both highly skilled and well-rounded, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to their work.
3. Xennials are the original ‘early adopters’
Xennials are unique because they’re the last generation to experience an analogue childhood and digital adulthood. This means that although they were aware of technology as they were growing up, it wasn’t the main feature in their lives (although they did watch a lot of TV). When they graduated from university their first jobs required them to sit at a desk with a computer and learn how to work in a world where almost all communication had moved to digital. They experienced the start of Web V2.0 as they became bloggers in droves, and saw the birth of social media. Xennials were the first to sign up to Facebook and Twitter, as well as Myspace, Friends Reunited, and Friendster (remember those?) They know how to use social media but are not vacuous narcissists taking selfies every five seconds. They have also had to jettison much of the technology they grew up with and adapt to a new world order, so they are often first in the queue when testing new products – whether it be the latest iPhone or a new computer game. In an increasingly digital era, Xennials are not afraid of new technology and often happily embrace it.
4. Xennials know what a ‘work-life’ balance really means
Xennials are not wedded to their smartphones, tablets, or iPads and know how to take quality time away from their screens, which means when they return to the office they are re-charged and their focus and attention is on their work. They also enjoy the benefits of analogue downtime – whether that’s reading a book or listening to a vinyl album all the way through (non-ironically of course). Not only have they not had their night’s sleep disturbed by SnapChat alerts, they also take proper holidays and don’t feel the need to be plugged in the whole time. That often allows them to reflect on how work is going and what they might change when they get back.
5. Xennials benefited from the New Labour boom years
Xennials graduated during the boom years of New Labour and benefitted from the abundance of high quality graduate jobs that, in comparison to zero hour contracts and internships most Millennials face when they leave university, were actually quite well paid (although they didn’t think so at the time). They were able to nurture professional interests and when they felt they had learned everything they could from a job, they would move onto another more senior and better-paid role allowing them to add to their portfolio of transferable skills. Or they would start their own companies. They were largely unaffected by the 2008 crash because they already had about 6-10 years of experience under their belt and their jobs were, on the whole, relatively safeguarded. This has meant they have been in leadership roles for much of their thirties, providing an experienced set of hands when it comes to running a department or indeed a company.
6. Xennials are inter-generational mediators
Ever watched a Gen X-er or Baby Boomer tearing their hair out because their Millennial assistant doesn’t do what they want them to or just doesn’t have ‘the right attitude?’ Because Xennials are a cusp generation overlapping two generational groups, they are able to understand both sides and mediate the conversation. They’re both comfortable in the company of older more senior staff and younger junior staff members, often appearing to be a ‘social glue’ between the two. They are able to understand and translate the needs of both and help avoid unnecessary confrontation.
7. Xennials have had the time to work out who they are
In hindsight, Xennials have had a lot more freedom in their choices because they came into their twenties during an economic boom (see above). They could take a 'gap year' as they reflected on who they are in a yurt or kibbutz or move around in different jobs and different sectors as they broke away from the traditional baby-boomer idea of ‘one job for life.’ This means they spent a lot more time than other generations really thinking about their careers – what they want to do, how they get intrinsic meaning and value from their work, and finding professions that give them purpose. As a result, Xennials are often doing what they want to do and bring passion, experience, knowledge, and a sense of vision to their work that permeates everything they do. This acts as a huge motivator to their seniors, peers, and teams.
8. Xennials learned disruption from 9/11 and technology
When Xennials hit their early twenties, America experienced it’s worst terrorist strike on American soil. They watched on TV as the Twin Towers burned and then collapsed in what was one of the most shocking events in their lifetime. They were also a generation that abandoned their beloved cassettes, CDs, and vinyl records for mp3s; their hi-fis for iPods' their Nokia 3310 phones for iPhones; and their clunky IBM PCs for MacBooks. They have seen how an ideology can disrupt global politics and how technology can disrupt how we consume media. On a micro-level they have learned how to disrupt the work place and challenge the status quo. This is especially important for those companies stuck in a rut or have seen their profit margins eroded over the last ten years. Xennials don’t accept the excuse ‘this is how we’ve always done things’ but instead challenge conventional thinking and because of their tenacity, they simply chip away at received wisdom until everyone has changed their mind.
9. Xennials learned from Luke Skywalker
Was there ever a more committed rebel than Luke Skywalker in George Lucas’s trilogy, Star Wars? Let’s not forget, Xennials were born between 1977 and 1983 when the original trilogy was released in cinemas, leading to some commentators renaming this micro-gen the ‘Star Wars Generation.’ They grew up with Han Solo, Princess Leia and Darth Vader, immersing themselves in a mythology as powerful as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, another film trilogy that would dominate their formative years. But the story of Luke is an inspirational one – a boy from an obscure planet who rises to the position of Lieutenant Commander in the Rebel Alliance and then becomes a Jedi Knight. Luke is notable because he has to put the time and energy into training and learning his craft as a Jedi Master, as well as being able to trust his instincts. His father, Darth Vader, tells him that his destiny is to join the dark side like him but he resists, deciding to strike out on his own, a message not wasted on Xennials.
10. Xennials put cynicism and optimism to good use
Cynicism gets a bad press these days – being cynical is often seen as being very negative. But a dash of cynicism can actually help cut through the bullshit of day-to-day office politics which often gets in the way of productivity and colleagues working collaboratively. Xennials possess that Gen X cynicism but it’s nicely balanced out by a Millennial optimism and enterprise that looks at problems in entirely different ways and helps them question some of the assumptions made by their peers. They’re not blithely optimistic either – ‘Oh the company will be fine’ – but realists who have also thought through various scenarios and planned accordingly.
Well it's been a very crazy week, which has moved at both fibre-optic speed and as slow as AOL dial up. On Monday morning I woke to discover, purely by chance, that a meme I created and posted on my Instagram account called 'What is a Xennial?' had not only gone viral but had led to a piece on popular women's website Mamamia and which subsequently brought Xennials into the mainstream.
I was slightly annoyed - a) that I had somehow missed the fact that my post had gone viral and b) that I didn’t watermark it with my web address, hence the post going largely uncredited on numerous websites. I’ve been trying to rectify that where possible but it’s left me feeling like a donkey chasing it’s tail and trying to eat the dangling carrot at the same time.
So how did this happen? Okay, in a nutshell: I first wrote an article on 2 April 2014 called ‘Gen X or Gen Y?’ on my old website, phdavies.co.uk (no longer online but see screen grab below) which talked about being disgruntled at straddling two generations without really belonging to either (I will be writing in more detail about my original article in a future blog post).
This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, although I was unaware that others had already been discussing this same generational discomfort. Doree Shafrir had already identified this cusp-generation in a Slate article and used Danielle Nussbaum’s term 'Generation Catalano' to describe it, after Jordan Catalano in My So-Called Life, the ultimate Xennial TV show cancelled by ABC in 1995.
Anna Garvey subsequently wrote an article for Social Media Week, using her own term the ‘Oregon Trail Generation’ after the popular computer game kids played in the 1980s. The problem was, outside of America, no one really knew what the Oregon Trail was and it’s unsurprising that it didn’t stick. Prior to this, Sarah Stankorb wrote an article for GOOD Magazine coining the term Xennials, a portmanteau of Gen ‘X’ and Millennials.
It was early in spring 2017 when I first came across the term (not in Stankorb’s article but another meme by Jen X) and it resonated so strongly with me – it felt like after years of being shunted between two generations that didn’t define my experience, someone had come up with the perfect term, one I felt I could adopt and use as a framework for writing about experiences unique to being a Xennial.
And so I started this website, xennial.co.uk, not quite knowing where it was going to take me. On 23rd May I created an Instagram post distilling all the various articles I had read about this cusp generation called ‘What is a Xennial?’ It was designed to be a pithy, short guide to the main characteristics of our micro-gen and given that I only had about 500 followers at the time, I didn’t really think much of it.
Unlike all my subsequent posts, I foolishly didn’t watermark it with my web address or credit Stankorb as the person who invented the term. Fast–forward to this week: I discover that a US-based Facebook user called Charger Stone (perhaps not his real name) had copy and pasted my post without credit and this one post alone was shared on Facebook almost 100K times (he’s since deleted it, at my request).
My Instagram post had become a meme and like most memes, no one knew who created it. Due to the viral success of the post, Mamamia picked up the concept and wrote an article about it. They spoke to an Australian sociology professor, Dr Dan Woodman at the University of Melbourne, who elaborated on the concept. This article incorrectly identified Woodman as the brains behind ‘xennial’ (Woodman has been clear this was a mistake by the publication and has emphatically denied coining the term) and they also posted my meme, again credited to the Facebook guy.
The Mamamia article sent ‘Xennials’ into the stratosphere and there have been posts in many mainstream media outlets and I’ve spent the entire week ensuring that if they include the meme, they credit it to me. Why get so upset about it? I guess because I’m old-fashioned in the belief that if you take something someone else created online, you at least have the courtesy to credit them.
That’s probably where the story should end, but then a rather salty article by Sarah Stankorb appeared yesterday on Vogue.com laying claim to the word ‘xennial’ – which is fair – but then went on to attack both Woodman and I because of our gender. She writes, ‘it’s been hard not to feel like the woman in a meeting who shares an idea and watches credit evaporate.’ I totally get that – I’ve been in meetings when I’ve seen this happen - but I get rather short shrift in the article.
Stankorb reduces me to one characteristic - ‘a man’ (thanks for that, like I don’t exist beyond my gender) and questioning why I would get upset because I created a meme that popularized the term and didn’t get any credit for it. I never once said I came up with ‘xennial’ and I’m not trying to take credit for it either but I did help to get it onto people's radars. It’s the mainstream media who are at fault for not sufficiently checking their sources when they report., not the 'men' involved.
Anyway, it’s all been a learning curve. The fact is, I believe the meme went viral because there are millions of people for whom this resonated and yes, there are some who hate it and think the term ‘xennial’ sounds like a new anti-depressant. And that’s fine, we can all disagree. Others have suggested that my meme went viral because I made a link with Star Wars (our birth years aligning to when the original trilogy was released) and I’ve started to see the term ‘Star Wars Generation’ crop up in articles.
As the dust settles I think Stankorb will get the credit for coining a term that I believe is here to stay, largely because of the huge response it’s received in just one week. And while someone else coined the term, I don’t believe anyone has ownership of the experience. Remember, Douglas Coupland didn’t come up with 'Gen X' but everyone thinks he did because he knew how to explore and articulate it.
Many of you may have read about Austin Harrouff in the media recently, although you might better recognise him by one of the disturbing sobriquets given to him by journalists: ‘Frat Boy Face Eater’ and 'Cannibal Frat Boy.' Last August, Harrouff was responsible for the deaths of John Stevens, a 59-year-old landscaper, and his wife, Michelle Mishcon, 53. Both had been beaten and stabbed and when police arrived at the scene they found Harrouff biting lumps of flesh from the man’s face.
In itself it’s a rather grim, grisly story but it’s one that appears to be much more complicated than first thought. Many media outlets at the time incorrectly reported that he was he was under the influence of bath salts or flakka, otherwise known as the zombie drug ravaging parts of the US, including Florida where Harrouff is from. But toxicology reports have quashed this assumption, finding no evidence of either drug in his system, even though his behaviour indicated otherwise.
Although Harrouff had told paramedics he had smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol on the day of the murders, they found no trace of these in his system either. It’s believed he is currently receiving treatment in jail but there doesn’t seem to be any clarity on what he’s been treated for, other than sleep deprivation and depression, although issues of ‘mental illness’ have been repeatedly mentioned. Many now are wondering how this handsome, All-American ‘frat boy’ spiralled so out of control he became famous for all the wrong reasons.
One hypothesis – and I need to be careful about speculating on a very open case – is that Harrouff was displaying schizophrenic behaviour and that on the day he murdered Stevens and Mishcon, he might have had a psychotic breakdown that triggered the condition. Reports of how he heard voices telling him what to do and that he was running from a ‘demonic figure,’ the catatonic state that he fell into lasting 11 days after he was arrested, the mono-tonal voice he spoke with in police interviews and reports of unintelligible, animal-like groaning and laughing inappropriately suggest a catastrophic breakdown.
There are other indications in his profile that he may be schizophrenic – at twenty he is in the ‘danger zone’ for onset of the illness; a school essay he wrote that can be found online talks about being very shy, lacking in confidence and social skills; a number of his peers at Florida State University raised concerns about his strange behaviour; phone calls released between Harrouff and his father suggest a young man far below maturity than others in his age group, one who often sounds like a scared little boy.
Particularly telling is Harrouff’s YouTube channel – like a number of young American males he has sought validation in making short videos to an invisible audience which he published online. Imitating the likes of online personalities such as Cameron Dallas, Nash Grier, Taylor Caniff and the Dolan twins, Harrouff made similar videos were being muscled and topless seems to be a pre-requisite for getting likes and follows. These internet stars have made careers out of being very attractive ‘personalities’ but who have very little talent beyond ‘bro humour.’
But Harrouff’s videos make uncomfortable viewing – he clearly lacks confidence and social media skills, he often seems extremely agitated, his voice is flat and emotionless, there is a surprising lack of humour or self-deprecation typical of other Youtube stars, and his sense of self-worth seems to come from being ‘muscular’ and ‘popular.’ It also appears that before murdering two innocent people, his videos were getting no views and now they have going viral. As one Youtube commenter chillingly put it, ‘His YouTube career finally took off.’
Harrouff also talks considerably about steroid use, suggesting that this is something he has done before but goes on to say; ‘I think that steroids really aren’t for me. Honestly, I used to think that I needed steroids to be a bodybuilder, to be this thing, to this symbol, to be this lie.’ It’s very revealing that he equates living up to an image of male physical perfection as being a lie - the pressure on young men to have a certain body type becomes a mask behind which the self withdraws and being bombarded with images of ripped models in the media might be contributing to a collective inadequancy among young men.
Another notable aspect of Harrouff’s video presense is how he quickly adopts a ‘voice’ or a personality’ as though he isn’t comfortable being ‘him’. Whether he’s pretending to be Texan, Russian, or British, these accents allow him to impersonate someone else instead of being Austin. There are other videos in which he sings with a very mediocre voice along to the Beatles or his own songs. The end goal? I suppose like many YouTube stars, the desire is fame but like many Millennials, the assumption is that you can have no talent and still make millions.
Is Harrouff an extreme example of what young male Millennials across America and the Western World are turning into? The pressure to have a certain body type and to take extreme measures such as steroids to get there, the pressure to be popular and sociable, the pressure of being seen as strong and masculine (in one video, he repeatedly states, ‘I’m not a pussy,’) the pressure of unattainable life goals such as internet fame or being Justin Bieber are all creating monsters of some kind. Is the real horror here that he had to murder innocent people to attain that notoriety, like some real-life Patrick Bateman?
What is most revealing in terms of what Harrouff has said since the arrest is, ‘I just want to be a normal kid again.’ There’s something rather heart breaking in that statement, knowing that it can never be possible. He will likely spend the rest of his life in jail or if he is diagnosed as being paranoid schizophrenic, that’s a condition that will have to be carefully managed for the rest of his life in a secure facility. But really what's most pathetic in all of this is Austin's struggle to be a ‘normal kid’ like all his male peers is probably what pushed him over the edge in the first place.
Look around you – have you noticed how the 1980s seems to be everywhere these days? I see you rolling your eyes as you read this. Frankly we've had 80s revivals of fashion and music appearing in regular cycles over the past twenty-seven years to the point of annoying but this time it feels different, right? Never has the decade often dismissed as 'fluffy and frivolous' seemed so pervasive and Xennials might be partially to blame.
Let’s start with the obvious indicators that we've travelled back in time; we currently have a female Conservative Prime Minister in the UK after Theresa May replaced David Cameron and a Republican President in the US who doesn’t really seem to be that qualified for the job apart from building Trump hotels everywhere. It’s all very Thatcher and Reagan, those beacons of materialism and homophobia.
Politics aside, look at culture in 2017. Was there ever a year when Stephen King was so ubiquitous? While he has many adaptations already under his belt, this year sees the big screen release of It and The Dark Tower, while on TV a new version of The Mist is being broadcast on cable channel Spike and new show Castle Rock is set to explore various characters of the King Universe. We'll come to this horror icon again a bit later.
These aren’t the only shows on TV pumping 80s nostalgia – the major success of Stranger Things on Netflix proved that audiences can’t get enough of this decade. The show successfully blends influences such as E.T., The Goonies, Poltergeist, Ghostbusters, and the aforementioned Stephen King’s It into something fresh and modern but with a focus on pre-internet friendships when Walkie-Talkies did the same thing as SnapChat (well, almost).
And look at all the remakes and sequels we've seen in the past couple of years and those that are still waiting to be released – Flatliners, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Ghostbusters, Blade Runner 2049, Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Rogue One; The Last Jedi – and rumours of remakes of An American Werewolf in London, Splash, and Top Gun 2 in the works. It’s like going to Blockbuster and the year is 1987.
We also can’t get enough of 80s music with major documentaries and biopics expected this year: Whitney Houston: Can I Be Me?, Freedom: George Michael, Prince: R U Listening?, Spike Lee’s doc on Michael Jackson’s ‘Off the Wall’, and two Madonna biopics Blonde Ambition and Emmy and the Breakfast Club. Perhaps this is particularly poignant due to the fact that only Madonna is still alive out of the above list.
That's probably enough to convince you of my theory but what’s the point, I hear you ask? It’s partially to do with an inherent human need for nostalgia and how with twenty-seven year’s worth of distance, this colourful decade has become the new 1950s, which makes sense given the 80s were imbued with the optimistic spirit of that earlier decade and its appalling contributions to fashion.
But what I believe is really happening is that many creative individuals who were born in the late 1970s and early 1980s are coming of age in their professional lives. These Xennials are now in their late thirties / early forties and their fondness for this halcyon era is informing their output on screen, in books, and in music in a way not seen before. What shaped them as children is starting to find echoes in what is happening now, a heady mix indeed.
Take the new adaptation of Stephen King's It as an example. This is a novel published in 1986, followed by a hugely popular TV adaptation in 1990 starring an iconic turn by Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown, both of which guaranteed that an entire generation of Xennials have been diagnosed with chronic coulrophobia, especially when you factor in the menacing clowns of Poltergeist (1982) and Clownhouse (1989).
The upcoming adaptation of It coming out in September 2017 was originally developed by Cary Fukunaga (born 1977 and pictured above) who rather tellingly updated the children's section of the book from the 1950s to the 1980s, which conveniently aligns with the theory in the novel that 'It' emerges every 27 years. Although he subsequently left the project (a travesty), he still maintains a writing credit and played a crucial role in green-lighting the film as a major fan of the book.
Fukunaga is like many Xennials who are at a point when they are looking back fondly at their early years and want to recreate that on screen, especially given the idea that a lack of technology can actually aid narrative rather than impede it. Their childhood is a pre-internet era of naivety when relying on your imagination rather than a smartphone to keep you entertained was still the norm and this is a galvanising theme in all Xennial works.
How long this pre-occupation with the 1980s will last is anyone's guess in an age of technological advances, especially as they have the effect of speeding time up, but I suspect for the next decade we will continue to see Xennials dominate film studios, TV networks, publishing houses, and record labels, until we get ousted out by disgruntled Millennials or Gen Z or whatever the next generation is going to be. It’s our moment to shine, so let’s make sure our voices are heard!
This past week saw a flurry of interest in the Xennial Generation in the mainstream media, largely due to an interview with TR Ashworth Associate Professor of Sociology at The University of Melbourne, Dan Woodman with Australian website, Mamamia.
Here is a quick roundup of what’s been happening and a chance for me to air my slight annoyance at the reposting of my Instagram post ‘What is a Xennial?’ which was reposted on Facebook and went viral without crediting me and then appeared on TV! But hey – it’s always fun to see something you wrote being discussed by a news panel.
- ABC 10 TV featured a segment on Xennials which included a discusson of my Instagram post (see above)
- Entertainment website AVClub published the blog ‘Old Millennials re-brand as the more palatable Xennials’
- Austrailian women’s website Mamamia asks the question ‘Are you a Xennial?’ in their blog post with a rather amusing video to accompany it
- News.com.au features a video and article on how technology has defined Xennial's lives!
If you’re visiting my website for the first time, you’re probably wondering why I’ve called it ‘Xennial’ and what this word or neologism actually means. So here’s my best attempt at explaining and putting it all into context for you.
Having never quite felt like a Gen X'er or a Millennial, despite identifying with both camps at different times in my life, I’ve always had a sense of being stuck in the middle, leaving me with the question, how do I fit into the scheme of things?
Then I discovered that there are a lot of other people who feel exactly the same – a not insignificant population. One of our tribe went on to realise that we’re actually a cusp or micro-gen straddling both generations in a rather unique way.
This same member of our tribe (not me sadly) collectively dubbed us ‘the Xennials’, a witty portmanteau that blends the 'X' of Gen X with Millennial in order to signify how we are both without being one or the other. You still with me?
Although this isn’t our only name – others have coined the slightly less catchy term ‘Oregon Trail Generation’, named after a computer game played mostly by American Xennials when they were children, even if it’s a game I’ve never heard of.
We’re also called Generation Catalano, named after the sensitive slacker hero Jordan Catalano (pictured) from My So-Called Life, a TV show that got cancelled (like most Xennial’s dreams) depicting life as a mid-1990s teen with astonishing accuracy.
Let’s get into definitions here – Xennials were born during the cusp years of Gen X'ers and Millennials, roughly between 1977 and 1983 (or for a more pop-culture analogy, the years when the original Star Wars trilogy was released).
One of our defining features is the experience of a rather innocent analogue childhood populated by cassette tapes, CDs, Walkmans, pagers, etc. followed by a digital adulthood – the internet, social media, mp3s, iPhones, Kindles.
We also experienced 9/11 in real-time, a traumatic touchstone of our early twenties that was essentially an introduction to global politics and the rather terrifying landscape that followed it. Bush described it as ‘the war on terror’ and I think most of us still have PTSD about it.
What also makes us unique is we possess both Gen X cynicism and Millennial optimism and drive, a curious combination to co-exist in one person – we want to succeed and work hard but all the time there’s a voice in our head saying, ‘what’s the point?’
And why name a blog after this marginalised generation? I mean, who cares what gen we’re in? I think being in a micro-gen allows for a creative space inaccessible to other generations, offering innovative ways in which to view the world.
I’ve been exploring this creative space in my writing subconsciously up until now but I’m started to embrace it explicitly in my writing. So if you’re a fellow Xennial, let’s make like pioneers on our wagon and find a place of our own in the world.