I stumbled across Jade Sylvan’s excellent You Know How Sometimes You’re In Your Twenties In America at Pank last week. It is sweetly wry and a little unnerving, and then it ends with a child. I don’t know about the child, and was initially dismayed that the narrative veered so roundly toward Answers Through Childbearing. But I’m not there yet and maybe I should ask my mom what she thinks about all of that before I go making faces.
It’s been a while since my own quarter-life crisis, but I can definitely attest to how mixed those distinctly American signals can get. I can also respect that since I hit my twenties in the middle of the dot com boom and Clinton’s roaring ’90s, my existential meanderings through the streets of Atlanta bear little resemblance to those of new college grads trying to figure out how to be adults.
Yesterday, I picked up Gail Collins’s When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, and though I’m only a few chapters in, I can’t help but see the stark changes in American expectation of youth – not only of women, but also of the men who are trying to navigate a world where inequality has become the elephant (meme) in every class, board, and bedroom.