Being a millennial makes me so frustrated

Hi, my name is Eliana, i was born in a small country in east Europe called Portugal.

I was born in 1987, and apparently that makes me a Millennial, what ever that means.

To me 1987 seems like yesterday, I mean, not literally yesterday, but i remember so well being a kid and 2000 looks like it was ten years ago and not 21. (When I meet someone with 21 years old I get depressed instantly). I bet there are many people like me. Back in 1996 I thought I would be a full grown up in 10 years, with 26 I would be married, have a husband and a house and a job I like, the full pack, I thing I get this idea from de previous generation, They were so close, yet so far from our. I feel Like I am on the limbo, between to generations with so different expectations for life, and i feel I want the best from both, and I haven’t any of it.

I feel I am out of control of everything, and the carousel is spinning faster and faster, I am getting old and old, and haven’t accomplished anything. Let me go deeper in this topic:

I feel like i have failed in many areas of my life since I was a kid, specially when I was a Kid, and a teen and an young adult, and that is having some weight in my mental health and making me feel depressed.

Starting by my childhood:

  • when i was a kid i talked too much, i mean, TOO much, people often said to shut up, be quiet and stuff like that. I was (still am) a very curious person, I was always asking thing to everyone and telling something new I saw or learn that day. (thank god for Wikipedia and Google or people wouldn’t stand me anymore). I thought I was a normal kid, but I felt that people didn’t understood me, and I din’t know why. And that made me feel sad sometimes, but overall I was a very happy and talkative little girl, very enthusiastic, and positive, always smiling and bubbly. With very annoying traits, don’t get me wrong, I could be very annoying, I was a “contrarian”, (I think I can say this), for example: I often ask people to help to help me choose between two things, and I always or almost always I choose the opposite they choose. I never did that in purpose, I am going to try to explain how my brain works, (it is hard, because not even I know how it works and I live here) sometime i want two things, for example a hair band (I always were one when I was a kid, and it was very popular in the 90’s) and my mother let me choose between a yellow and a red, and in my guts I like red best but I am not completely sure, because maybe I know that Yellow goes better with my outfit, so I ask my mother which one she likes more and she says yellow, but if I am honest to myself and If I think which one I would feel better it was red, so I choose red, and after all I just needed a confirmation, and since I have a different taste from most people I know, It is usual to choose the other thing that they choose. I know it sound very selfish. But you all know when you need to choose something that is good for you and something that you like an feel good about yourself. You should choose the first one, but you will miss more the second one.

So my childhood was happy but sometimes very confusing, I just wanted to be understood.

  • My teens: oh boy, my teens were fun too, I was a very naif girl, I was raised in a conservative christian home, so some of you maybe will relate to that. I still talked a lot, and that didn’t help me at school or friendships, even girls think I talked too much. Boys think I was pretty but the talking and being to naif was to weird for most of them. Since I wasn’t popular it wasn’t “cool” to be seen with me. I wasn’t a good student to help with my situation. I did study but it was hard to concentrate, and I was losing the focus in classes all the time, so I did know the subjects but i was too distracted and failed at the exams frequently. I was smart and intelligent, and I knew that, teachers told me that all the time. So school was very frustrating for me, at least until the high school, since I had more specific classes, and I likes the subjects, I started to be good at school for the first time in my life. It wasn’t so hard to be focused at classes. I didn’t know by then that I had ADHD, so I didn’t understood why that was happening, I thought that I wasn’t lazy anymore (that was one of the things that teachers has said about me until then).
  • my adulthood: When I got in the university I was ecstatic. I finally loved school and went to the course I wanted, Design. It was so cool. Since I had lived such a protected life until then I found myself a bit lost for a while. When I was in high school I live far from the down town so i neve had the “opportunity” to get lost, to spent a night over, go to a student party, not over 23:00 the time my mom went to get me at the party, so I needed to be sober and well all the time. It was great, but at sometime everyone needs to get lost, so they can get back together again, and usually people start the process in hight school, but not me, and also since i was a very conservative christian, I didn’t want that. But that changed in college. I wanted to be “normal”, to fall in love, to have a drink, to go to a night club and do all the “normal” things a girl in her late teens and early 20’s do.

I feel like I didn’t take the advantage I could in my college years. I could have better grades, I could have made a better networking, I could have finished my masters and maybe that would have helped me in my professional life, (or maybe it didn’t, but I will never know right now.) this is the process of life, people always tell me that everything is a learning process and it is good. But If I don’t feel that I had learn, of that learn didn’t led me to somewhere worthwhile? It was just a waist of time? waist of life? what is i have waisted my twenties in shitty jobs, just wasting my time instead of living an adventure? i know i can’t thing and regret and cry over a “what if”, that doesn’t get me anywhere, at least, not anywhere I want to be right now.

  • Thirties: I am in my mid thirties and I feel like I am regressing. I had better jobs, and worse jobs, and my last was one of the worse I had. Now I am unemployed and have no idea what I am going to do next. Honestly I am looking for a job, but I am not sure if I really want one, because here, in Portugal I never had a great job, or a well paid job, or with projects or teams I like to work with (i mean I liked a few jobs but they are always underpaid. How can you live in a capital city with less than 880 dollars?
    Unless you live with your parents.
    In my 30’s I finally found Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and discovered I had this since ever. This was huge to me because I always felt an outsider, in my school, in my family, I always thing I thought differently, and I finally discovered why! because I actually do thing differently and my brain works differently. And that was huge to me. That made me stop hating some parts off me that I didn’t understand, why I was different and why I couldn’t be just like everyone else I knew. This means I wasn’t dumb when I failed some test I knew the subject, or lazy when I needed a break from work on the same boring thing for 2 hours, or rude when I interrupted people while they were talking, or when we were talking about a subject and suddenly brought up other subject.
    My brain actually works differently, and nobody had told me that, for more that 30 years. And know people are worried I overshare about ADHD, but I think I may want to compensate for the 30+ years I felt bad about myself just for being me.
    Of course I know that we all have traits we need to control and change, but ADHD aren’t that easy and some I know I won’t change, but I can manage better, and feel less frustrated about them know that I know why I am and I act like this. And believe me when I say that I’ve changed, a lot. Know people who meet me thing I am quiet and don’t talk too much, I guess I got tired of people saying I talked to much, and heard some people say very bad thing about me for things I didn’t control or did or purpose. Since I always had soft heart, this kind of things really hurt me, specially because I didn’t know how to stop doing, and I didn’t know why I did that things and why people didn’t see that I wasn’t doing it on purpose.
  • Now I am on a “break”, I don’t know If is a professional or personal break, I just now I need to stop, I don’t know for how long. I wish I could stop the clock, not for too long, maybe a year.
    There are so many things I wish I could do, or change. I feel like I am a little bit numb and just have to wait and see, but I don’t know if the world or anyone will wait for me to be ready, I hope it is not to late.

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Eliana vasconcelos

Eliana vasconcelos

I’m a designer, Human rights advoc. who thinks a LOT all time. I write about what’s in my mind in my blog, diariodeumamenteirrequieta.blogspot.com (Portuguese).