the comfort couch

a millennial rant [of sorts]

“The apartment is still available, ma’am.” JC said on Wednesday morning when I phoned him.

[Internal dialogue: I’m being called ma’am; like a 40-year old matron.]

“Thanks, JC. I will drop by on Tuesday next week to have a look.”

So, Tuesday rolls by and I pull up in front of the property. JC sent me a GPS location earlier that day. Understandably, it was necessary. The property which he advertised as “Flat to Rent” is halfway to the Australian Outback. Which is quite far out, considering that I live in South Africa. But, the dirt road, and dodgy neighborhood aside, I optimistically step out of my car, ready to inspect the quarters for its possibilities.

A friendly border collie (simply named Dog), and JC meet me at the garden gate. JC elaborates on the floor space, monthly costs etcetera, but I already tuned him out to the background noise because there are SEVERAL cats on the couch, displayed like living decor.

JC: “And we’re planning on repainting the whole apartment, and”

Me: “Ohmygosh wholiveshere canIhaveallthecats.”

Snow White was glad that she got to keep the apartment to herself, the seven dwarves/gnomes and the cats.

You see — to say that I like cats would be the same description you use to say that you like your vegetables separated by colour. When I say I like cats, I really mean I rather talk to cats than people.

Well, it turned out that JC’s apartment would not be the one for me (not because of the cats), but as I got back in my car and drove back to town, statues of Snow White and her dwarves, daintily placed all along the hedge,  grimly looked on as dusk settled on the outstretched dirt road in my rear view mirror.

And so, without a drum roll, or much announcement, January draws to a close.

2017 Kicked off in much the same way 2016 ended: with admin.

Apart form apartment-hunting, I’ve also spent quite a bit of time updating my CV, traveling, and looking for new job opportunities.

I have found that an increasing amount of my peers (sigh — yes, millennials) prefer to work on a freelance-basis. They’re breaking away from desk jobs where they have scheduled hours and limited income, restricted growth opportunities, and limited career advancement.

Apparently Mashable agrees that this is in fact what’s been happening since 2010.

Twenty-somethings are looking for job-opportunities, living-arrangements and life-experiences beyond the ‘normal’ to be added to a CV or resume.

I jokingly remarked to one of my friends that “multi-skilled” is just a millennial way of saying, “I’m a twenty-something willing to do more than one person’s job for one person’s remuneration,” but upon some introspection I have found it to be ironically true.

south-africa-youth-unemployment-rate@2x.pngMillennials are the most educated generation thus far, though they make up part of the 54.2% South Africans who are unemployed. They are forced to find innovative and nonconformative ways of earning an income, often having more than one job in order to cover living expenses.

This is, however, not a rant about statistics. [P.S. If you’re looking for some interesting ideas on Millennial Jobs, click here.]

As I was updating my CV, I jokingly thought to myself, “Je parle francais… almost”.

I studied French for five years and passed the DELF exam and though I am far from fluent I recon I’m able to get around.

After nearly seven years of studies, three University degrees, two full-time jobs, multiple part-time jobs, and two new cities, I find myself being a typical twenty-six year old who is still living like a digital nomad and who almost speaks French.

You see — in my opinion this is not a bad thing.

People tend to define you according to their success parameters — whatever it might be — but I have come to appreciate the fact that I am NOT like everyone else. I am not limited by what other people deem successful, and neither are you. Times they are a’changing. More than ever before do I realize that we don’t have to ‘arrive’ somewhere in order to be deemed valuable or completed. I think the whole point of being a millennial is to be under construction, to be constantly evolving, growing, learning.

b374054e8710a69dc4215b912bc0a7b5.jpgTolkien famously said not all who wander are lost,and I have agree that seeking out new opportunities or hopping between jobs and cities is not a mark of being lost or confused, but it’s rather the mark of inquisitive minds, and spirits eager to explore, to take in cultures and languages, to travel, to see, to live, to learn, to experience, to be able to do something almost.

So, at the risk of sounding like a 40-year old matron, allow me to encourage you to wander, to wonder, and to live in wonder — in awe — of life and everything it has to offer.

Maybe you’ll have to drive to faraway places (like the Australian Outback) only to find that this rental property is not the one for you, but maybe you’ll meet Snow White, the dwarves, a friendly border collie, and a bunch of cats on the way there, and that may make all the difference.

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