flowing motion

Is the best part of being 20 something discovering our own competence?

Posted on: April 10, 2010

Gen Y or age?

There is so much talk about Gen Y (shortly to be displaced by Gen i).  Unless we are a 12 year old at TED, we rarely talk about age anymore.

What it means to be twenty something

Increasingly, I’ve found myself entertaining the idea that in our twenties, we particularly like solving task problems.  Sacha Chua in Canada posts a great account of sewing clothes.  I remember that!  The triumph!  (Great blog, btw. Subscribe!)

Task triumph palls!

I don’t like doing that anymore.  I just “want it to work”. I am tired of clothes shops without clothes that please at price that is sensible.  Just how many pounds a day should we spend on clothes?

I am tired of having to trawl through websites to find what I want.  That is the retailer’s job.  Yes, when I was younger beating the retailer was a thrill.  Doing a better job than them by finding what I wanted elsewhere always delivered a frisson of delight.  I felt competent. I probably felt that I was asserting my immortality.

Existential crisis or not?

It’s great to feel competent.  It’s great to feel agentic.  But I also feel tired.  Is it an existential crisis to want the person who pulls coffee to be able to make coffee?  Is it an existential crisis to want the people to run the bus to keep it clean and safe and come when they say (to the schedule if there is one and whenever they promise if there is not)?

Is the best part of being 20 something discovering our own competence?

Is not the case that 20 somethings, in our system, have a grand time proving they can work our system? Is there a age-thing working here, mixed in with a residual need to prove we are better than our teachers?

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