“So, where in Brooklyn are you located?”
“Oh my God, you are so lucky! That is the neighborhood to be in!”
“They shoot Girls there! OMG have you ever like, seen Lena Dunham on the street?”
Typical conversations usually go this way. I’ve been living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn for the past nineteen years of my life and let’s just say people’s reactions never were of the enthusiastic kind. Greenpoint has turned into Hipster-Palooza; a constant stream of twentysomethings thriving in the town I’ve called home for so long, or better yet, taking over everything and acting as if they founded it. I should be thrilled. I’ve always wanted to meet new people my own age to connect with, but as time goes on I’ve learned that these newbies and I are on two totally different spectrums…and I’ve never felt more alone in my entire life.
As teenagers, it’s expected of us to act out; to feel disconnected and like the world is going to end. I’ve been through all of that and then some and came out of it better than ever. While a lot of aspects of my life still need improvement, I can honestly say that I feel emotionally mature. However, when I observe how people my age behave, I have to cringe. Maybe I’m a cranky old woman at 26, but I can’t see myself ever acting like they do. I don’t feel respected, which, in turn, allows me to see what others outside of my generation see. The sense of entitlement is disgusting and I want no part in being associated with any of these people. Sometimes, I feel like I have more in common with a 75 year-old than I do of my own peers. What does this say about me? Will it always be like this? Where do I fit in to this equation? Most importantly, why aren’t my peers growing up? Life is one big party and I’m the one being kept up all night from the noise and unmet expectations of a life I never wanted yet somehow “missed out on.”
Everyone is so concerned about the rat race. They want to be seen and heard. They think they are important and that people should be influenced by their presence. Everyone’s too cool to be kind. Everywhere I go, I see the same looking people speak to each other in the same monotonous voice, which sort of takes on a valley girl persona. The word, “like,” probably defines millennials at best, since the average use of the word in a sentence is astronomically high. What once was supposed to be a revolution of independent thinking has turned into an oyster of clones and it’s hard to differentiate anyone’s true identities. It’s like my generation formed a special cult and decided to leave me out of it because I’m an old hag. Don’t get me wrong, I want no part in any of this, but as an introvert especially, it is so hard to find people I can relate to.
Everyone drinks. I don’t. Everyone smokes weed or does/has done some form of illegal drugs. I don’t. Everyone sleeps around. I don’t. Everyone goes to shows to be seen. I don’t. As a music writer, I’ve been surviving on lyrics and melody my entire life. When others don’t take it as seriously as I do, it offends me and it makes me feel like I am just not cut out for this. This environment has been defined as being young, experimental and wild. What if you don’t want a part in any of that but want something more substantial? I can’t relate to their mentality and it gets isolating. It feels like everyone is a copy of a copy.
I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m probably never going to meet people like me, and that’s okay. I’m a rare breed. Dying, but still here. While Greenpoint turns into a 24-hour frat house, I’m still going to be writing in my pajamas – headphones in my ears, blocking out the noise of what others say I “should be” doing at my age. It’s funny how people live a certain way because it’s how they see everyone else doing it. Who are they trying to impress? Better yet, why are they still doing what is expected of them? I assumed that by the time I was 26, people wouldn’t be mean. They’d grow up, grow a backbone and start living the life they’ve always dreamed of as a child. Where did we go wrong and will things ever get better? I’m afraid of what the future is going to look like. Will people ever take anything seriously or will I still be struggling to find some sort of happy-medium with my peers?
Though loneliness cuts deep in this society, I’m not about to throw away everything I stand for and follow the adage of, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!”
If you need me, I’ll be in the corner with the elderly, wondering where all the respect has gone and eating all the Entenmanns. My kind of party.
“Oh so cool you seem. Blending with that scene. Wearing what you think is hard.”