Born in the Wrong Era
This Gen X Baby Hustles Like a Millennial
A lot of the Gen Xers I grew up with appear to have it all together. But out of all the weddings I attended in my 20s, a large percentage of them are/are getting divorced. Still, they seem to be able to afford a lifestyle I have not. I am perfectly content in my old urban house. I was never one to seek the suburban housing developments anyway, but I have always felt behind my peers, at least financially.
I grew up too fast, and I am a late bloomer. At some point in my adventure, I took some detours and paths that kept me stuck. And I am good with that. But I am here to attest: It is never too late to do anything you want to do.
But there is a catch.
The catch is catching up. I have always wanted to go to grad school, to travel, to be a mom, to write. I have done all these things, but grad school and motherhood came much later than my friends. And I am still paying off my 20s.
I have heard that the millennial generation knows how to work hard to make ends meet. Maybe they have grown up knowing they better figure it out faster than the rest of us, because most of the wages we earn do not match the cost of living.
Since 1998, I have been a full-time teacher. In fact, my whole life (since preschool) I have lived by the school schedule. As we all know, teaching does not exactly pay all the bills comfortably. So most of us moonlight at some point.
I waited tables for a lot of my early teaching career. I was good at opening wine bottles on Saturday night, going out with my work friends, then waking up and slogging through Sunday brunch. This was great until my morning schedule no longer agreed with my night schedule. Something had to give.
I have tutored and taught creative writing. I have taught art camps and nature camps and traveled with kids. I have spent hours of bliss in the pottery studio creating clay vessels that people paid me to make. I have sold skin care and oils and even dabbled in kids’ books for a while.
This is all to say I have hustle. I have to. But my hustle is slowing, as this 1974 baby is a mom and wife and devoted teacher. And I can sell stuff. I really can.
But I would rather be writing.
© Samantha Lazar 2019