Thursday, May 14, 2009

Generational Stuff

I've always been rather intrigued with generational concepts, generational know, stuff like that. Lately I'm noticing articles and blogs about generational issues everywhere - but it's probably just that it's more on my mind than it normally is.

At various points in my life, I have not always had the best self-esteem. (You guys can totally stop snorting with laughter....I can hear you all the way down here in Austin, you know.) BUT... I have made astounding strides in that regard over the past couple of years. I have to say that, for the most part, I can see that I have a lot to offer the world. I've got my flaws, but I'm working hard on them and when it all comes down to the wire, I'm really not a bad apple. What's really cool is that by discovering this about myself, I've kind of discovered it about my generation as well. You see, I now realize that for most of my life I'd bought into the stereotypes that other generations (ahem, Boomers, I'm talking about you guys...) put on us. (You know...."slackers" because we don't commit to a particular religion or career for our whole lives and "poor communicators" because we get straight to the point and don't beat around the bush with a bunch of political fluff.) Now I see us taking the lead and it's great.

I recently joined a great professional group - it's called Executive Women in Texas Government and it is truly made up of some awesome women. Most of them are a generation ahead of me and have been in state government for decades. What's neat about these groups is that the Boomers are totally there for the X-ers and Y's and, in contrast - we have a lot to offer to the discussion as well! For example, just this week I went to a mini-course that was all about LinkedIn. Someone else presented and did a really good job. When she opened the floor up for discussion, I ended up sharing a lot of knowledge and almost felt like a co-presenter (nice phrase)/attention hog (mean phrase) for the last few minutes. (I've recently become quite focused on my LinkedIn presence - which is, apparently, a very Gen X sort of thing to I had tons to say.)

I was such a nerd as a kid - such a people pleaser - that I think I was just trying to be a miniature Boomer. You know - trying to be exactly what the adults around me expected me to be. It's weird to just now be figuring out who I truly am but it's also a joy because my parents are right there beside me, cheering me on. I think they are probably even prouder of the little risks I'm seeking out now than they were of the straight A's and perfect behavior in high school. Go figure. All I had to do all along was just be myself. Thanks Mom and Dad.

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