The Millennial Life
I think I’m a millennial. Every now and then, I read a new study that changes the year, but for now, I think I am a millennial.
I graduated from college on February 14, 2008. I remember it because it was Valentine’s Day and I had to ask for the afternoon off from work, even though I finished classes sometime in December.
I left that job after maybe five or six months, having been recruited into a better paying gig with shorter hours in a non-profit so I could go back to school (I’m probably the only person in the world who decided to get an Associates Degree after getting a Bachelors).
I was leaving class one day when my boss called me and said, “Don’t come in.” It was just the two of us in the office and he had gone home to watch the news. We didn’t know it at the time, but he was watching the start of the economic crisis on TV. I’m a millennial because I graduated into a recession.
One of the things that strikes me when talking to people is about how some may claim that life is “unfair.” I’m not sure life ever could be fair. My parents never said it was unfair for them to be born into or grow up in a country at war. I’ve been lucky in many ways and totally bummed by other things. I only know the hand I was dealt and could it have been better? Sure, I could have won the lottery at age 18. Or it could have been worse and I could have been born at a time where a simple fever would have wiped out my whole family. It’s unfair to get killed by a paper cut. It’s unlucky to graduate into a recession, but at least I’m still alive.
I kept my job. I was there for another 2 years. Eventually, I got a 20% pay cut when I was originally told that the budget allowed for a raise, but it didn’t matter. My heart wasn’t in it anymore so when my boss asked me to commit at the lower pay, I was already 6 months into a professional pastry program. If I wasn’t going to get paid well, I might as well do something that I love. I’ve been in the food industry ever since – 9 years and counting.
Like many of my peers, it was a good time to start a business. Self-employment was our remedy to what was going on around us so I went all in. This is a story of that journey.