It was a Tuesday night when I met up with a girl friend with every intention to go to a party thrown by my idol, Demetria Lucas. However, her recent (and well deserved) rise in popularity resulted in an over-capacity event and a overwhelmed bouncer.
We walked along the Lower East Side, looking for a nice place to grab a drink, letting the lights from the Empire State Building guide our footsteps. Our conversation bounced back and forth between topics: career, men, family, friends, and that wild Saturday night that left us all in shambles. We settled in at La Linea, a dark little dive that plays great music, enjoyed $4 Blue Moons and great conversation.
It was in La Linea that I realized how much priorities shift as each generation goes through the motions of life. My grandmother left her southern home and boarded a bus to Boston for a man who promised he would be her husband. Her focus was him (and eventually their children), and she did everything she could to ensure her safe arrival in Boston. Nanny was no fool, she had back-up accommodations at the Y and a job waiting to ensure her own funds, but she moved for him.
My mother learned independence from my grandmother. She spent her years after college with a focus on higher education and job success. When she met my father, her intentions were not to find her husband. She met him randomly and was open to the idea of a date. When he took her to the movies, my mother insisted they use her free movie vouchers – nothing standard about her.
What I’ve learned from them is to always have a back up plan, and to always strive for success; the rest will fall into place. As a result, I am clearly my grandmother’s grandchild. I am obviously my mother’s daughter. I am not your “normal” twenty-something woman (whatever that may be).
So for me, the fact that I am 26 and single is not “awkward” or “unfortunate” and I certainly don’t find it “unusual” as generations before me might. My focus is on keeping a job, keeping a home (read: rented apartment in NY), and keeping my friends near. My focus isn’t on creating a home… my focus is on creating my financial legacy (and apparently listening to Independent Women pt. 1 by Destiny’s Child).
Does that make me more like my male counterparts in some ways? To spend more time building a steady cushion while enjoying being a twenty-something prior to redirecting my attention to the rest? As my girl and I discussed this, I couldn’t help but wonder, where does it level out? Where do we, the Generation Y kids, submit to the same urge the generations before us have?