Generation X

“I am contemplating with my fingers right now. Writing is my coping skill, and vice versa. Today was a particularly peculiar day. I was in the truck driving while listening to the radio. We have a completely amazing radio station up here named Gen -X. Every song that comes on, takes me back to a time. Almost every time something comes on I will remember a person I heard it with first, smell something in my mind or laugh about an instance that happened while it was playing. Now, these artists range from Biz Markie to Nirvana. As I pondered what I was thinking at these time, my memories started flashing in segments which caused me to ask a few question to my subconscious, apparently. It was the time period that I felt. A whole station dedicated to the ones that no one could really label. So they just gave us an “X”. An ignored generation of slackers, I have heard quoted recently. Now I was born in 1980, so I am on the cusp of Generation X and Millenials. However, I am proud to say that I relate more with X. 

Gen X was an era of the underdog. Nobody really expected much of us after the Baby Boomers so our minds started to wander (which isn’t such a bad thing!). As Jeff Gordinier writes:

“Gen-X stomping grounds of the past — the espresso bar, the record shop, the thrift store — have been resurrected in digital form. The new bohemia is less a place than it is a headspace. It’s flexible enough to bypass all the old binaries. It encompasses mass and class, mainstream and marginal, yuppie and refusenik, gearhead and Luddite. It’s everywhere and nowhere in particular”

This takes me back to when The Epitome was still the place to be in Tallahassee. We would go and sit for hours, writing our poetry and listening to spoken word. Smoking a few cloves while we were at it. Contemplating life and the realities that were, us. Imagining and dreaming of what was possible, but at the same time not truly believing that I could make a difference. It was all relative and theoretical. It forced me to think outside the box. Heck, I don’t even think I knew what the inside of one would look like. I was challenged and related to the writings of Kurt Cobain with all of the passion I could muster. Finally, someone who understood.

A generation of where I didn’t think of the future. I didn’t really start that until a few years ago. Life for me at that time was more about the journey, not the destination. It was tangible and personal but not overbearing. We didn’t grow up with good computers. Do you remember those huge dinosaur manilla colored Apple computer that contained Oregon Trail? The biggest concern digitally was whether or not I was going to die of diphtheria along the way! Sesame Street didn’t have to worry about being “politically correct”.

Now as I said earlier, I’m just writing. I’m not too worried about being accurate because this is what I remember feeling. I find solace in public writing. It’s quite cathartic for me and makes it more “real”. Also, I tend to find comfort in the fact that not much was expected of me from previous generations. That provided a blank canvas, a list of endless possibilities and the permission to screw up. Somehow I found a niche that I fit comfortably in, but it was forever evolving. The niche was that of inconsistency, unpredictablity and openness. The Holy Grail of a free spirit mentality. Now, this doesn’t mean that things were great. I just mean that I started liking the way I was starting to think. It challenged me and I forever push the envelope of myself. On the surface it may not have appeared that way, but underneath a storm was brewing. Nothing was ever truly defined. My mind was much like a Monet. I could think of things distantly but if I applied it closely, it was just a bunch of dots.

What does all of this mean? I don’t know. I just felt inspired to write what I was feeling. I miss the days where I felt free of obligation and my only priority was to think. Not that I want to go back to that period of my life because being a teenager was hell, but I appreciate the mentality now. It made me who I am today, and I’m starting to get to know that person more and more. I’m learning to let teenage Shea off the hook and allow adult Shea to, just be. Reminiscent of those stories where you could pick your own ending, but not really. I now realize that none of this probably makes any sense, but I’m okay with that.” -Shea 2010


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