FIRST GENERATION GUILT IN MILLENNIAL BAME
** THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY DEMUR.CO IN THE GAB'S AFRO MILLENNIAL HANDBOOK ON THE 3RD JUNE 2019
When I first met with the Demur team, the question came up of what my message was and what I would like the readers to know. Honestly speaking up until now I was never sure “what my message was” till I asked myself what I would have liked to have been told when I was a little bit younger or during the darker periods of my life. As millennials we are always looked down upon by some of the older generations because we created a world that loves social media and spends most of its time in front of a screen, creating a life that sometimes usually does not match what’s behind the screen. We are led to believe that the way we live our lives is wrong and the freedom we so strongly hold on to is nothing but a certain construct that makes us feel better about the choices we make.
Though I can’t help but ask if have you ever felt some type, of guilt towards your parents, like you owe them something?
Perhaps because you feel like you have let them down somehow, or because you feel you are not as strong as they were when they overcame some of the challenges that we are currently facing in our day. Maybe, that’s because you feel more fragile against the world because you didn’t have to overcome the same amount of prejudice or barriers as they had to. This happens because as society changes the problems we have to face change accordingly, therefore we are led to focus on different issues.
From some people’s perspective you could be moaning about “first world problems” but, I want you to know that I SEE YOU and hear your genuine cries. I see you overcoming daily micro-aggressions, I see you working twice as hard at work, I see you dodging strangers’ hands from your hair, I see you trying to initiate change where formally none was needed. Because the difficulties we see are never the same as our white counterparts because the difficulties we see are bespoke to our skin colour.
Though I am in my mid-twenties, I have always doubted I could be some sort of writer and always debated in my head if I needed to choose a more secure path – i.e: banking, accounting or medicine. But when presented with this dilemma I asked myself what would have made me happy, what would have gratified my soul, what would I have been able to do well and for a long time and writing was it.
So I’d like you to feel less guilty towards your parents, though you might not be a millionaire, nor married and without a house to your name, your parents’ sacrifices were not in vain, as they allowed for you to pursue your dreams and live YOUR best life.
Instead, I’d like you to thank them, leave your guilt behind and just do your best to achieve success and prosperity because I can promise you that that is all they want from you. With this in mind, approach today, tomorrow and every day after that with a little bit more peace of mind because, you are stronger than you allow yourself to believe and what you perceive as challenging is there to ignite a fire in you otherwise would not have been able to see in you.
Take care of you babe.