I am now half way through approaching the grand old age of 24 years on this planet and with it I’ve recently begun to wonder, what age is it in today’s world when it’s time to “settle down”?
My generation has experienced more freedom to simply be who we are and chase our happiness solely for our own sake more than any other since the dawn of time. We have no great war drafting and killing us in our droves, a difficult but not “Great” depression in terms of economy to get through (i.e we’re not actively starving in the streets), opportunities to travel and learn and grow. And with this has come a difference in perspective and priorities that have shaped human society since its conception.
My mother at my age had 2 children, a large, un-payable mortgage and a deathly sick husband to care for all the while attempting to raise toddlers in one of the worst areas in Ireland. She was not alone in her circumstances in any way shape or form, nor is this an uncommon theme in 2012. However the difference seems to be that by my age, most men and women were at the very least married if not with several children or one on the way.
When I compare this to my own friends and myself, I simply can’t imagine most of us in even long term relationships, let alone deal with the responsibilities and trials our parents endured.
It seems that the age of when you have to grow up and be an adult has dramatically shifted. I’m a working professional and I swear that most of those under 30 in my office are just as loud as crazy as they were when they were 19, still going out every other night and pulling whoever is willing to go home with them.
Its made me aware that once upon a time I would expected to be a complete grown up with all the obligations that entails and yet as of now, it is mostly perfectly acceptable that I go out every night on the beer so long as I do my job and go to the gym and not look too unhealthy. I still go to all the gigs, all the festivals and the camping and boozing and from the people I see around me, it will continue to be fine right up until I hit my 30’s. The only issue that I face any disapproval on is the fact that Im gay, and to be honest that is mostly from older generations and not at all from my peers.
What’s your take? Are the younger generation better off from being able to live our lives for ourselves or are we the metaphorical horsemen of the apocalypse heralding in the end of morals, family values and the destruction of the good auld days?